November 29, 2016

Trump's election makes his Washington hotel's lease illegal

Huffington Post - When President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January, he apparently will violate the lease for his new hotel in Washington, adding to the growing list of conflicts of interest between his business enterprises and his duties as president.

The lease for the Trump International Hotel, housed in Washington’s historic Old Post Office Pavilion, which is owned by the General Services Administration, contains a clause forbidding elected officials from involvement, according to two experts. Trump, as president, essentially would be both landlord and tenant.

In an op-ed published Monday in Government Executive magazine, Steven Schooner and Daniel Gordon, former government officials who specialize in federal contract law, recommended that GSA “immediately end the hotel lease relationship, before Trump becomes president” to avoid ethics problems.

The Post Office Lease differs from many of Mr. Trump’s other business arrangements. That’s because, in writing the contract, the federal and D.C. governments determined, in advance, that elected officials could play no role in this lease arrangement. The contract language is clear: “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...”

The language could not be any more specific or clear. Donald Trump will breach the contract on Jan. 20, when, while continuing to benefit from the lease, he will become an “elected official of the Government of the United States.”

Read the full op-ed here.

No comments: