Politics and Political Issues -  Ethics issues: Trump Hotel, etc. (6620 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 12:02 AM 
To: All  (1 of 203) 
 136697.1 

(We had separate posts on this in the 2016 election thread, but it is really a separate topic).

From the past week in the media, comments on Trump's plans to avoid conflicts with his business interests:

“Tragically, the Trump plan to deal with his business conflicts announced today falls short in every respect. Trump did not follow the example of his nominees and of every president for the past four decades in using a blind trust arrangement, or the equivalent, to cleanly sever himself from his business interests. And in President-elect Trump’s case it’s an even more problematic situation because he’s receiving foreign government payments and other benefits and things of value that’s expressly prohibited by the Constitution of the United States.  The emoluments clause applies to the president. It is rooted in the concern of the founders of this country that foreign governments would try to meddle in American politics. What’s the point of having the Tea Party and throwing King George’s tea into Boston Harbor if you’re then going to elect a president who’s buying and selling tea with King George or any other foreign power? ... Trump did not follow the example of his nominees and of every president for the past four decades in using a blind trust arrangement, or the equivalent, to cleanly sever himself from his business interests. And in President-elect Trump’s case it’s an even more problematic situation because he’s receiving foreign government payments and other benefits and things of value that’s expressly prohibited by the Constitution of the United States. It is not my view, nor the view of any of the bipartisan experts that have spoken out today, that the announced Trump plan is sufficient to cure his emoluments problem. Even if it were possible to peal out the profits only from the hotel, the emoluments clause is not written to say that all emoluments are permitted except for Trump hotel profits...The plan we heard today does not comply with the law. He is not in violation of the law as of today, but he has nine days to fix it. And these emoluments, these payments from foreign governments, have to be out of the Trump business empire on Jan. 20 or he will be in violation of the law. It is not an obscure provision of the Constitution. It was intended to preserve the independence of the United States from foreign powers meddling in our system.”  -  Joint statement by Richard W. Painter, former chief White House ethics lawyer for former President George W. Bush and Norman Eisen, former chief White House ethics lawyer for President Obama, and founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

“Stepping back from running his business is meaningless from a conflict of interest perspective. The presidency is a full-time job and he would’ve had to step back anyway. The idea of setting up a trust to hold his operating businesses adds nothing to the equation. This is not a blind trust — it’s not even close. His sons are still running the businesses and, of course, he knows what he owns.  I was especially troubled by the statement that the incoming administrat
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From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 12:03 AM 
To: All  (2 of 203) 
 136697.2 in reply to 136697.1 
Watchdog: Trump in violation of lease agreement
The Hill

President Trump’s hotel in Washington is in violation of its lease with the government and could also run afoul of a Constitutional clause meant to thwart foreign influence in politics, according to a watchdog group. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter about the hotel to the General Services Administration (GSA) immediately after Trump’s swearing in. The letter urges the agency to terminate Trump's lease on the federally owned hotel building if the new president retains his business interest. Trump has a trust—the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust—that holds dozens of assets, including one containing a majority stake in the LLC holding the lease with GSA.

 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 12:04 AM 
To: All  (3 of 203) 
 136697.3 in reply to 136697.1 

At Trump Hotel in Washington, Champagne Toasts in an Ethical 'Minefield'

 

New York Times

With sirens blaring, a fleet of limousines and security personnel raced down Pennsylvania Avenue twice in less than the last 24 hours to deliver Donald J. Trump to inauguration events. But he was not heading to the White House. He was going to Trump International Hotel. It was a telling destination for those visits Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon. Perhaps more than any other location in Mr. Trump’s far-flung real estate empire, this 263-room hotel epitomizes the convergence of Donald Trump the global businessman and Donald Trump the president-elect. Conflicts that for months have been theoretical are now about to become real — most immediately a possible challenge by the federal government. It owns the building that houses Mr. Trump’s hotel and has granted him a 60-year lease. From the moment he is sworn in as president at noon Friday, Mr. Trump may be in violation of that lease, given a provision that appears to prohibit federal elected officials from renting the Old Post Office building, the Pennsylvania Avenue landmark that houses the hotel, from the government. Guests at the hotel include foreign diplomats and politicians who could be looking to curry favor with Mr. Trump — but even the act of paying their bills as they check out after the inauguration may open Mr. Trump to a challenge that he has violated the United States Constitution, which prohibits federal government officials from taking payments or gifts from foreign governments. Members of Mr. Trump’s new cabinet are also staying there this week, as are dozens of big-ticket donors to his presidential election campaign and inauguration. The hotel will also be the site of a prayer breakfast on Friday before Mr. Trump is sworn in. All these bookings mean payments to the Trump Organization for the hotel rooms, meals and other accommodations...The Post Office project is valued at roughly $200 million, much of it financed by Deutsche Bank, a favorite lender of the Trump Organization. The bank agreed to lend up to $170 millio
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From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 12:04 AM 
To: All  (4 of 203) 
 136697.4 in reply to 136697.1 
Daily Mail  - ‎Jan 20, 2017‎
 
The Trump Administration's General Services Administration will reveal on Monday whether the Trump Organization is in violation of its government lease on its new luxury hotel in Washington, a top Oversight Committee Democrat said tells DailyMail.com.
 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 12:05 AM 
To: MEDDLY  (5 of 203) 
 136697.5 in reply to 136697.1 
Politico  - ‎Jan 20, 2017‎
 
The watchdog group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington greeted President Donald Trump's inauguration by filing a complaint over his ownership interest in the new Trump International Hotel, which sits on federal property
 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 12:06 AM 
To: Joanne (spiesonline) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (6 of 203) 
 136697.6 in reply to 136697.1 
Huffington Post  - ‎Jan 20, 2017‎
 
WASHINGTON ? The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the General Services Administration on Friday, arguing that President Donald Trump is in violation of his lease to operate the Trump 
 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 12:07 AM 
To: cj (CAROLJOYCE) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (7 of 203) 
 136697.7 in reply to 136697.3 

Trump's DC hotel a hub of activity and ethics questions

Miami Herald - ‎3 hours ago‎
Red, white and blue balloons rained down over crystal chandeliers in the soaring atrium of the Trump International Hotel at midnight Friday — "a new inaugural tradition," its social media account promised.
 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 12:16 AM 
To: Jeri (azpaints)  (8 of 203) 
 136697.8 in reply to 136697.7 

The CREW complaint with the GSA versus Donald Trump:

============

January 20, 2017


The Honorable Denise Turner Roth Administrator
General Services Administration 1800  F Street, N.W.
Washington,  DC 20405

Re: Breach and Default of Ground Lease with Trump Old Post   Office LLC

Dear Administrator  Roth:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ("CREW") respectfully requests the General Services Administration ("GSA") immediately initiate the process for establishing that Trump Old Post Office LLC is in breach of its ground lease for the Old Post Office Building. Elected government officials are barred from receiving any benefit under the lease, and now that Mr. Trump has been sworn in today as President of the United States, Trump Old Post Office  LLC, a company he largely owns, is in violation of the lease's conflict-of-interest provision. If President Trump's company does not resolve this breach, GSA should exercise its rights to terminate the lease or take other legal  action.

On August 5, 2013, Trump Old Post Office LLC entered into a ground lease with the  United  States for the Old Post Office Building. 1  More than 76% of Trump Old Post Office LLC   is owned by DJT Holdings LLC, which in turn is owned almost entirely by The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.2

Section 37.19 of the ground lease provides that "[no] elected official  of the Government    of the United States . . . shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may  arise therefrom. "3

The purpose of this conflict-of-interest provision is the same as the purpose of the Federal Acquisition  Regulation's  prohibition  on awarding  a federal  contract to a government  employee or a business owned or controlled by a government  employee: "to avoid any conflict of interest   that might arise between the employees' interests and their Government duties, and to avoid the appearance  of favoritism  or preferential  treatment  by the Government toward  its employees."4
As Deputy Commissioner  Michael  Gelber explained  to members of Congress during a  briefing in December, this standard clause "is included in many GSA leases to create a 'level playing field'  and protect  the interests of the American people. "5

Mr. Trump was sworn in as President of the United States today. Once that happened, he became an "elected official of the Government of the United States."  As a result, he and  companies he owns can no longer "be admitted to any share or part" of the lease or "to any    benefit  that may arise" from it.

On December 14, 2016, GSA asserted that it could make no definitive statement at that  time about what would constitute a breach of the lease, and that no determination could be completed "until the full circumstances surrounding the President-elect's business arrangements have been finalized and he has assumed office."6 On January 11, 2017, President Trump held a press conference at which he and his attorney announced his plan to addres
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From: MEDDLY1/22/17 1:01 AM 
To: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (9 of 203) 
 136697.9 in reply to 136697.5 

Ethics? That's too big a word for Baby Hugey. He only knows "beautiful", "huge", "amazing" and Dosvedanya Obama.

 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 10:46 PM 
To: All  (10 of 203) 
 136697.10 in reply to 136697.1 

Liberal watchdog group to sue Trump, alleging he violated constitutional ban

Washington Post  - ‎55 minutes ago‎
 
A liberal watchdog group says it plans to file a lawsuit against President Trump in federal court on Monday alleging that he is in violation of a little-known constitutional provision that bars him from taking gifts or payments from foreign governments ...
 

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