Trump hotel lease is subject of latest House subpoena

Another House committee on Thursday issued a subpoena for an investigation of the Trump administration — this time demanding documents related to the federal government’s lease of the historic Old Post Office building in Washington to the president’s hotel business.

The subpoena from the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and signed by its chairman, Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., demands that the General Services Administration produce documents including legal records, communications between it and Trump and his children, as well as profit statements for the business, the Trump International Hotel.

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The committee is investigating whether Trump’s investment in the hotel, located blocks from the White House, violates the emoluments clause of the Constitution. Trump has refused to divest from his financial interests in the building, which one of his companies began leasing in August 2013.
Trump is the sole beneficiary of a trust with the controlling interest in Trump Old Post Office LLC, according to the committee.

The committee, which has jurisdiction over federal buildings, issued the subpoena after repeatedly requesting that the GSA provide the information voluntarily.

“We deserve to know exactly how much President Trump is profiting from foreign governments looking to curry favor by booking rooms at his hotel,” said Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who chairs the committee’s Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee.

“The American people have a right to know whether the President of the United States, who is serving as both the landlord and tenant of the Old Post Office Building, is violating the Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution to enrich himself, and I plan to pursue these documents with every tool at my disposal,” DeFazio said.

GSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Democrat-led House has issued a long list of subpoenas throughout the Trump presidency, including subpoenas regarding the impeachment investigation, Trump’s tax records and the administration’s policy of separating immigrant families detained at the border.

Congressional investigations of the Trump Hotel lease date back to November 2016, right after Trump was elected, but the subpoena to GSA was spurred by the refusal of the agency to respond comprehensively to requests made in a letter dated Jan. 22, 2019.

Information that GSA has not provided includes legal memos or opinions related to the lease.

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