Chaffetz Pushes GSA for Answers on Trump’s Old Post Office Lease

Trump International Hotel in Washington. Trump International Hotel in Washington. Beth J. Harpaz / AP

The Republican lawmaker with primary oversight of the executive branch is asking the General Services Administration for specifics on how it will mitigate a potential violation on a lease President Trump holds with the government.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked in a letter to acting GSA Administrator Timothy Horne what actions the agency planned to take in response to a clause of the president’s lease on the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., that prevents the lease holder from holding elected office. Chaffetz also requested the guidelines and policies GSA uses in administering its outlease program.

The oversight chairman’s letter follows his request that GSA send him the full, unredacted copy of Trump’s 60-year lease to operate a hotel at the government-owned building. GSA has said it is examining the issues, and the agency’s inspector general recently added the office is “closely monitoring the matter.”

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Earlier this month, Trump made his son, Donald Trump Jr., president of the company that operates the hotel. Critics quickly noted the move changed management control, but not ownership.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the oversight committee’s ranking member, also wrote a letter to GSA this week with seven other Democrats, asking for more information on GSA’s review and data on the company operating the lease. The lawmakers requested the business’ financial information and correspondences with GSA and the Trump transition team. In response to a previous letter, GSA told Cummings officials are assessing new information to determine if the leaseholder is in compliance with the agreement's terms and conditions.

“Once GSA has a full and complete understanding of the tenant’s structure, GSA will determined whether the tenant remains in compliance with the contract,” acting GSA Associate Administrator Saul Japson said. 

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