Four Democratic members of Congress claim President-elect Donald Trump will be violating the lease for his Washington D.C. hotel when he is sworn in as president, unless he drops all financial interest in the project, according to Politico.
Trump and his three children won a bid to develop the project for the General Services Administration (GSA) back in 2012, but the 60-year lease they signed states that no elected official “shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.”
That part of the lease has been seized upon by Democrats.
“The Deputy Commissioner informed our staff that GSA assesses that Mr. Trump will be in breach of the lease agreement the moment he takes office on January 20, 2017, unless he fully divests himself of all financial interests in the lease for the Washington D.C. hotel,” Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Gerald Connolly of Virginia and Andre Carson of Indiana wrote in a letter to GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth. “The Deputy Commissioner made clear that Mr. Trump must divest himself not only of managerial control, but of all ownership interest as well.”
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The New York Times pointed out that the conflict of interest stems from the President's power of appointing the head of the GSA.
Trump has not yet responded to the hotel controversy as of Dec. 14.
“In fact, the deputy commissioner informed our staffs that the G.S.A. has received no communications to date from Mr. Trump’s business organization about this issue,” a GSA statement reads, according to the New York Times. “This raises serious questions about how Mr. Trump plans to proceed.”
During his campaign and since his election, Trump has said he would remove himself from his business dealings, in order to avoid conflicts of interest and focus on the presidency.
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"My executives will run it with my children. It's a big company, it's a great company. But I'm going to have nothing to do with management," Trump said on Dec. 11, according to the Associated Press.