The U.S. owns the Old Post Office Pavilion in D.C. The General Services Administration (GSA) leased it to Trump for the Trump International Hotel. While campaigning, Trump staged a ribbon cutting for his luxury hotel. In a recent deposition Trump admits that his political career increases his wealth:
Q. "And why do you think, for example, the Palm Beach property is doing particularly well? I think you said earlier it's -”
A. Because I think people like politics.
A. Yeah. And they like to be around the name and maybe me. I go there, you know. But I think - I think people really dig it.” [Emphasis added]
Transcript of Donald J. Trump. June 16, 2016 pp. 78:19--79:4.
Actually, we don’t dig it. Not only does this cozy relationship violate the Constitution, it violates the lease which states, “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...” This is not a gray area - bi-partisan ethical advisers insist that Trump must divest completely from the hotel. His plan to just give it to his children is a nice-try.
Our leaders in the House of Representatives don’t dig it either. Representatives Elijah Cummings, Peter DeFazio, Gerald Connolly, and André Carson demanded action from the GSA in a letter sent on November 30th.
And Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper definitely don’t dig it. Their December 1st letter asks the GSA to protect our taxpayer dollars and require Mr. Trump to fully divest from the hotel.
So let’s dig in our heels to stop this corruption.
Call GSA Administrator Denise Roth: 202.501.0800. Or email her at email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org. A GSA representative has ensured us that emails sent to the “comments” address will be read.
Call the office of Carol F. Ochoa, Inspector General for the GSA: 202.501.0450. This is an independent office responsible for detecting and preventing fraud and mismanagement in the GSA. Or email at OIG_PublicAffairs@gsaig.gov.
Sample Script: "I am calling [or writing] about President-elect Donald Trump’s lease for the Old Post Office Pavilion. What is the GSA planning on doing to protect our taxpayer dollars if Donald Trump refuses to divest fully from the hotel or tries to place his company in the control of his children? I am asking that the GSA immediately end its business relationship with Donald Trump and his family because it presents a conflict of interest that threatens our democracy."