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Trump: My D.C. Hotel Made $150M. House Panel: It Lost—Bigly.

The Daily Beast logo The Daily Beast 10/8/2021 Corbin Bolies
Alex Wroblewski/Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Alex Wroblewski/Getty

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly misled the federal government about the “financial situation” of his Washington, D.C., hotel, according to a House Oversight and Reform Committee investigation.

A trove of documents obtained by the committee from the General Services Administration were released Friday, detailing the Trump property’s finances and showing that the hotel had actually lost tens of millions of dollars while the ex-president was claiming it had made more than $150 million. In a 27-page letter to the General Services Administration, the House panel committed to further investigation.

The release was first reported by NBC News and The Washington Post.

“The documents provided by GSA raise new and troubling questions about former President Trump’s lease with GSA and the agency’s ability to manage the former President’s conflicts of interest during his term in office when he was effectively on both sides of the contract, as landlord and tenant,” Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) wrote to GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan.

According to the documents, Trump reported an income of $156.5 million from the hotel between 2016 and 2020. However, while reporting that income, the hotel actually lost more than $73 million during that four-year period, a figure Trump did not report. Throughout that period, one of Trump’s holdings companies, DJT Holdings LLC, also loaned the hotel $27 million, $24 million of which was converted into capital contributions that were not repaid.

“Taken together, these documents show that far from being a successful investment, the Trump Hotel was a failing business saddled by debt that required bailouts from President Trump’s other businesses,” Maloney and Connolly wrote. “In deciding to conceal the Trump Hotel’s true financial condition from federal ethics officials and the American public, President Trump hid conflicts of interest stemming not just from his ownership of the hotel but also from his roles as the hotel’s lender and the guarantor of its third-party loans.”

The hotel, which took the place of the Old Post Office building, opened in September 2016 just before Trump secured the presidency. It became known throughout the Trump years as a mandatory stop for Trump White House officials, excommunicated aides, and other GOP lawmakers and influencers, raising questions over potential ethical violations.

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It was also known for its repeated hosting of foreign officials, some of whom stayed there as a means of currying favor with the image-obsessed president. This led to concerns from Democratic lawmakers that Trump was benefiting from foreign investments, potentially violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.

The GSA documents help support that conclusion, the committee said Friday, with hotel records showing more than $3.75 million spent at the hotel by foreign officials between 2017 and 2019. Those funds, which were not itemized by the Trump Organization, allowed the hotel to offset some of its losses, according to the committee chairs.

“The Committee’s investigation shows that the Trump Organization did not provide adequate information to GSA to hold the company accountable for President Trump’s constitutional obligations,” they wrote. “Given the lack of detailed disclosures, it appears GSA did not have sufficient information to determine whether the payments accurately reflected the Trump Hotel’s profits from foreign governments.”

The committee also found that a $170 million loan Trump received from Deutsche Bank to build the hotel had its principal payments postponed from 2018 to 2024, requiring interest-only payments in the interim. The “significant financial benefit” from the bank was not reported in financial disclosures, the committee chairs wrote.

Trump has repeatedly tried to sell his 60-year lease of the government building since 2019 after striking it in 2013, with Axios reporting last month that Trump was in advanced talks to sell it to a real estate developer.

Maloney and Connolly both committed to continuing their investigation, requesting additional documents from the GSA to determine how Trump moved money between the hotel and his other businesses, among other items.

“The documents produced by GSA raise additional troubling questions about former President Trump’s conflicts of interest in connection with the Old Post Office Building lease,” they wrote. “The documents the Committee is requesting from GSA are a subset of the information the Committee needs to investigate and legislate on the pressing issue of presidential ethics and to prevent future presidents from profiting off the office of the presidency.”

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