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Politics

Maloney, Connolly Seek Documents on Request for Lower Rent Payments at Trump Hotel

WASHINGTON, DC – On April 29, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Gerry E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, requested that the General Services Administration (GSA) produce documents related to a troubling report that the Trump Organization requested a reduction in lease payments for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.

“This report highlights the disturbing conflicts of interest presented when President Trump maintains private ownership interests that place him on both sides of the federal government’s dealings,” wrote the lawmakers. “Our Committee and ethics experts across the political spectrum have long warned of these blatant conflicts of interest and potential for self-dealing.”

According to this report, Eric Trump sought to frame the Trump Organization’s request for financial relief as one from any other struggling American business and to “just treat us the same.”

The CARES Act, which passed in Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support last month, excluded the President’s personal businesses from receiving certain federal financial assistance.

“The President’s businesses are not the same as any other business—thanks to his decision to break with decades of precedent and maintain extensive private business interests while serving in the nation’s highest office,” added the lawmakers.

The Members also raised concerns about GSA’s failure to comply with the Committee’s longstanding investigation into the federal lease for the Trump Hotel.  

“GSA’s blanket refusal to provide the requested material disregards past agency practice and hampers the Committee’s ability to conduct legitimate oversight of matters well within its jurisdiction, including determining whether GSA has granted preferential treatment to a specific tenant, determining whether the tenant used inaccurate financial disclosures to qualify for or otherwise obtain the lease, ensuring that the federal government receives revenues to which it is entitled, ensuring that GSA followed the appropriate protocols regarding the enforcement of federal leases, and investigating potential violations of the Domestic and Foreign Emoluments Clauses,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter asked GSA to produce documents in this investigation by May 13, 2020.

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