On Friday night, advocacy group Tax March projected “For Sale” onto the façade of President Donald Trump’s emoluments-violating Washington, D.C. hotel to highlight the way the business is emblematic of corruption in the White House.
The sale reportedly comes partly in response to sustained criticism over the way the business makes money from foreign and domestic clients with interests in the White House.
“Simply put, we’ve long known that Donald Trump has put our democracy up for sale,” said Tax March campaign director Dana Bye. “Today, he just made it official. Now, if we could just see his tax returns we’d see how much he’s been selling it for.”
According to The Wall Street Journal:
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The Trumps don’t actually own the hotel, which is the former Old Post Office, but lease it from the federal government. With extensions, the lease runs close to 100 years, and a new owner could control the property well into the next century.
The hotel rights could sell for $500 million, said the Journal.
Trump has endured criticism over the hotel since the beginning of his presidency. Democratic lawmakers have drawn attention to the fact that the hotel is a hotbed of activity for GOP operatives and foreign dignitaries, and Trump himself frequently dines at the property, located just down the street from the White House.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is investigating whether the president is violating the emoluments clause by keeping the hotel. Committee chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio (D., Ore.) said in a statement Friday that he had concerns about the potential sale.
“I’m skeptical that this latest development isn’t an attempt to make a massive profit that directly benefits the Trump family, so I will be following this marketing attempt closely,” DeFazio said.