President-elect Trump has numerous conflicts of interest between being the president and his business. A significant development in that on-going dispute has now led a government agency that leases the taxpayer-owned landmark for the latest Trump Hotel in Washington, DC had told the President-elect that he is in violation of his contract until he relinquishes ownership, says BuzzFeed.
Breach of Contract Doesn’t Spell Well for Trump’s Hotel
Lawmakers informed Trump that he would be in violation of his lease on the new property for his hotel as soon as the inauguration occurs on January 20th, 2017, reports The Huffington Post. In the hotel’s lease, there is specific wording that states no elected official of the United States government can be admitted to any part of the contract or benefit from the lease of that property.
The General Services Administration’s Public Building’s Service has pushed back on the statement, however.
They have made it clear that the GSA does not have lease provisions that require President-elect Trump to divest his interests in the business. Therefore, at this time, they cannot make a definitive statement what would be a breach of the agreement between Trump and the GSA.
Federal Officials Say It is Too Premature
At this time, the federal officials overseeing the review of Trump’s lease have said that it is too early to conclude if he is in breach or if the Trump hotel is in trouble. They stated that the initial assumption that Trump was in violation of his lease agreement was premature.
They did, however, say that the GSA is dedicated to ensuring all leases are handled appropriately. Right now, the Democrats are the ones pushing for the breach of contract to push Trump from his hotel or force him to cut ties with the business – and avoid the obvious conflict of interest he already has, says The Washington Post.
So far, the GSA states that there is no breach that they are aware of on the hotel’s lease. Trump still refuses to sell his stocks in his business, only saying that he will transfer the ownership and authority over to his children. He also stated that no new business deals would be made during his time in office.
The D.C. hotel location has already come under considerable scrutiny. His firm is currently leasing the space from the Old Post Office Pavilion, which is a fed-owned structure and based on a 60-year deal.
Democrats in Congress have been pushing for the GSA to cite a breach, and have said that Trump is in violation of the emoluments clause in the documentation.
If Trump does refuse to give up the hotel after inauguration, the GSA may drag him in front of a tribunal that oversees such contractual arrangements. Trump’s team has not commented on the potential hearing he will face if he remains in the hotel.
After BuzzFeed first reported that Trump could face a hearing, the GSA responded that they do not have the federal authority to do so and it was too early to determine if he was truly in breach.