House committee seeks to cancel Trump’s Washington hotel lease

A congressional committee has asked federal regulators to terminate a lease on a Washington, D.C. hotel signed by the organization, citing possible irregularities in the company’s financial statements. .

The request, if implemented, would also result in a planned sale of the property for $375 million to an investment group in Miami, a transaction that would result in an expected $100 million profit for company of the former president.

That transaction is currently under review for 45 days in 2013 by the General Services Administration, the federal agency that leases the Trump Organization property, known as the Old Post Office Building, for redevelopment into a five star hotel.

The move by the House oversight committee comes as the former president’s financial situation comes under increasing scrutiny. The New York Attorney General said last month she had found “Important Evidence” about fraud by his real estate company to overvalue properties ranging from office towers to penthouses in an unaudited statement of financial position that he provides to lenders, business partners and the media.

Citing those revelations, the former president’s longtime accountant, Mazars, this week withdrew a decade of such reportingsaid they could no longer be trusted and cut ties with Trump’s company.

Carolyn Maloney, the Democratic chair of the House oversight committee, and her Democratic colleague, Gerald Connolly, have previously accused the company of lying about the Trump International Hotel finances and receiving favors. offer from Deutsche Bank, which provided a $170 million construction loan. , after Trump became president. Both sides deny this.

Although the three-year financial statements Trump provided to GSA to win the lease precede the reports that the Mazars withdrew, Maloney and Connolly write in the new letter that the statements are also “potentially misleading.” .

Two Democrats also raised concerns about a condition in a 2014 loan agreement with Deutsche Bank in which the lender was only allowed to review the first two pages of Trump’s tax returns at his office. and cannot be copied.

“Given longstanding ethical questions and regarding new developments surrounding former President Trump’s lease of the Old Post Office Building, we urge the GSA to consider terminating the lease by implementing your rights under Article 27 of the lease,” they wrote. “No one should be rewarded for providing false or misleading information to the federal government or for attempting to profiteer the presidency.”

The GSA, the Trump Organization and Deutsche Bank did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Trump Organization blasted an October report by the same House committee as “irresponsible and clearly false” while the German lender said it had made “several inaccurate statements related to regarding Deutsche Bank and its loan agreement”.

The 263-room Trump International Hotel – just down the street from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue – has been at the center of controversy since Trump was elected president in 2016. Democrats and key watchdog groups The government has accused the former president’s family of violating the US constitution. financial terms after foreign governments and their associates placed suites there – allegedly in an attempt to build support with the new administration.

While Trump has repeatedly touted its success, the House committee found that it has lost more than $70 million during his tenure in office, in part due to the Covid pandemic.

The Trump Organization agreed to sell the lease to CGI Merchant Group for $375 million late last year.

In their letter, Maloney and Connolly said the price was at least $100 million above the real market value of the hotel, and expressed concerns about the identities of the investors in the CGI fund involved. to this deal.

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