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GSA: Trump Would Breach Lease on D.C. Hotel

Agency says president-elect can’t have financial stake in personal business

Republican president-elect Donald Trump gives a brief tour at the construction site for the Trump International Hotel, at the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, D.C. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Republican president-elect Donald Trump gives a brief tour at the construction site for the Trump International Hotel, at the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, D.C. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The General Services Administration has concluded that President-elect Donald Trump would breach the lease agreement between the federal government and the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington once he assumes office if he does not divest his stake in the hotel.

The deputy commissioner of the agency confirmed a provision that categorically bans the president or any other elected official from having a financial interest in the lease. The commissioner also rejected the notion that the provision could only apply to those who were elected at the time the lease was signed.

Trump is leasing the federally owned Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue under a 60-year deal.

Unless Trump fully divests all financial interests in the hotel, the GSA official handling the agreement would give the lessee 30 days to review the matter and respond to the agency, which would then take the matter to an appeals board, according a letter that House Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee released Wednesday.

The letter was made public on the same day that congressional lawmakers held a panel with ethics lawyers who served in the last two Republican and Democratic administrations who called for Trump to divest all financial interests in his business dealings when he becomes president to avoid conflicts of interest.

Trump had been scheduled to unveil a plan this week laying out how he will disentangle himself from his business dealings but he postponed the announcement.

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