Welcome to 1100 Pennsylvania, a newsletter devoted to President Donald Trump’s Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. (and his other companies). President Trump, of course, still owns his businesses and can profit from them.
If you like what you see, tell someone—and support this work by becoming a paying member ($5/month or $50/year). If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Questions? Read our FAQ/manifesto. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.
Update: The Independent Petroleum Association of America’s lobbying event is not returning to the Trump Hotel D.C.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America’s Congressional Call-Up is not returning to the Trump Hotel D.C. in 2019 after all, according to the group’s manager of public affairs and communications. This information is contrary to an Illinois Oil & Gas Association calendar entry spotted in December, which 1100 Pennsylvania reported on, that has since been updated to remove any venue information.
In the past day, IPAA published the web page for its 2019 Congressional Call-Up, an event that facilitates the fossil-fuel industry trade group’s members lobbying of Congress. The host hotel, however, is not provided. “Once registered, you will receive the hotel information,” reads the sign-up form. Yet “all attendees are requested to stay at the hotel that will serve as IPAA’s Call-Up Headquarters.” Going back as far as 2014, the IPAA’s Congressional call-up webpage’s name the host hotel.
“The Illinois Oil & Gas Association was mistaken, likely because the event was held there previously,” wrote IPAA’s manager of public affairs and communications, Jennifer Pett, via email this morning. (When 1100 Pennsylvania emailed Pett in December, asking for confirmation of the Illinois group’s event listing, she did not reply.) IOGA representatives have not returned messages asking why it said the venue was the Trump Hotel D.C. in the first place.
Shown here, screenshots of the IOGA’s calendar taken today and in December 2018
The IPAA is the second organization recently discovered not to be returning to the president’s hotel after holding an annual event there in 2018. The Institute of International Bankers chose the Ritz-Carlton for its 2019 Washington conference.
Pett has not responded to a follow-up asking why the IPAA decided not to return to the president’s hotel and what venue it opted for instead. In 2014 through 2017, the IPAA’s call-up was held at D.C.’s Loews Madison Hotel.
According to the 2019 event’s web page, “The Call-Up is one of the best ways for IPAA members to meet and discuss pending issues with members of the House and Senate.” In 2018, when the event also took place at the Trump Hotel D.C., “members participated in 150 meetings with House and Senate Members and helped influence change on Capitol Hill,” per the group’s marketing material.
Facebook pulls, restores ads for Trump properties, including D.C. hotel
From “Facebook removes over 100 adverts for Donald Trump’s businesses” by Martyn McLaughlin for The Scotsman:
Facebook has removed more than 100 adverts for Donald Trump’s hotels and golf courses after ruling they had breached strict new transparency rules surrounding political advertising and failed to disclose who had paid for the promotions, The Scotsman can reveal…
After being presented by The Scotsman with a list of the pulled adverts, Facebook launched an investigation. It found the three Turnberry promotions had been erroneously flagged as political. The company is continuing to look into how the rest of the adverts came to be removed.
Facebook has since reinstated the ads, according to Mike Snider of USA Today.
Facebook probably deserves a pass for this misstep, on the D.C. property anyway. With all the politicians, campaigns, PACs, lobbyists, foreign governments, Hill staffers, special-interest groups, and Trump-supporters spending money at the D.C. hotel, it can be hard to tell where the West Wing stops and the D.C. hotel begins. (Pictured here, a collage of Cabinet members at the hotel, compiled in January 2018.)
While researching his scoop, McLaughlin also discovered that the Trump Organization relies on people outside the United States to manage its Facebook page:
(My thoughts, by the way, are that the Trump Org outsources some of its Facebook page’s management to workers in other countries or to U.S. expats. Also plausible is that the person managing the page uses a VPN to mask his or her true whereabouts.)
The campaign for Rep. Austin Scott (R–GA) spent $4,767.60 at the Trump Hotel D.C. for event catering on Dec. 7, 2018.
The campaign for Rep. Steve Knight (R–CA) spent $442 at the Trump Hotel D.C. for lodging on Dec. 26, 2018.
The Republican Party of Virginia spent $994.68 at Trump Doral to lodge its chairman on Dec. 13, 2018.
The campaign for Omar Navarro, who lost to Rep. Maxine Waters (D–CA) in November, spent $112.20 at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas on Dec. 13, 2018. Navarro’s campaign now has spent a total of $12,894.39 at Trump properties.
Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) and the executive director of Animal Wellness Action, Marty Irby, were together at BLT Prime. Animal Wellness Action is a 501(c)(4) social-welfare nonprofit that is allowed to participate in politics.
The aforementioned unsuccessful congressional candidate Omar Navarro was at the D.C. hotel, interviewing family members of people killed by unauthorized immigrants for a Periscope live-stream.
Other Trump Organization news
“Eric Trump described efforts to link Trump Turnberry and Trump Aberdeen to Russia as ‘nonsense,’ as several U.S. investigations zero in on parent company DJT Holdings LLC.” By Mark McLaughlin for The Times.
House investigations, current status (latest change, Feb. 8, 2019)
Financial Services—Sent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank on Jan. 24.
Foreign Affairs—Chair Rep. Elliot Engel (D–NY) “plans to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s businesses are driving foreign policy decisions, including whether Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution in the process” per CNN on Jan 23.
Intelligence—On Feb. 6, chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D–CA) issued a statement that said his committee would investigate links or coordination between the Russian government/related foreign actors and individuals associated with Trump’s businesses as well as if foreign actors sought to compromise or hold leverage over Trump’s businesses. During an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Feb. 10, Schiff said the committee will investigate Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, a major lender for the Trump Organization. Earlier, on Jan. 24, the committee sent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank.
Oversight and Reform—Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings’s (D–MD) staff “has already sent out 51 letters to government officials, the White House, and the Trump Organization asking for documents related to investigations that the committee may launch,” according to CBS News on Jan. 13.
Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management—Transportation committee chair Rep. Peter DeFazio (D–OR) and subcommittee chair Dina Titus (D–NV) sent a letter to GSA administrator Emily Murphy on Jan. 22 asking for all communication between the GSA and the members of the Trump family dating back to 2015, an explanation of how the hotel calculates its profits, profit statements since the hotel opened in 2016, any guidance from the White House regarding the lease, and whether or not Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are recused from participating in decisions regarding the property. DeFazio and Titus requested a reply by Feb. 8. When hearings begin, it is likely that Murphy will be the first person called to testify, according to a person familiar with the subcommittee’s plans.
Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight—The subcommittee held its first hearing on “legislative proposals and tax law related to presidential and vice-presidential tax returns” on Feb. 7. “We will ask the question: Does the public have a need to know that a person seeking the highest office in our country obeys tax law?” said chair Rep. John Lewis (D–GA). Experts in tax law testified.
Legal cases, current status (latest change, Feb. 7, 2019)
Official capacity—On Dec. 20, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it would hear the president’s appeal of district court rulings that allowed the case to proceed to discovery, and the appellate court halted discovery in the case. (Discovery had started Dec. 3 and was scheduled to run through Aug. 2, 2019, with the AGs already having issued subpoenas, including to the Trump Organization, including its Scotish golf courses; the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Treasury and the GSA; and the state of Maine. Oral arguments on the appeal are scheduled for March 19. The AGs filed their brief opposing the president’s appeal on Feb. 6, stating “The President is not entitled to an order requiring the district court to certify for interlocutory review its denial of his motion to dismiss. No court has ever issued such relief.”
Individual capacity—On Dec. 14, Trump’s personal attorneys appealed the denial of their motion to dismiss the case, also to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Dec. 19, the AGs replied to Trump’s motion for a stay pending that appeal by voluntarily dismissing the claims against Trump in his “individual capacity to allow the claims against President Trump in his official capacity to move forward expeditiously.” (The AGs only brought suit against Trump in his individual capacity after the judge suggested they do so.) Trump’s personal attorneys, on Dec. 21, opposed the motion to dismiss at the district level, saying the appeals court now has jurisdiction and accusing the AGs of “gamesmanship.”
196 Democratic senators and representatives’ emoluments lawsuit—On Sept. 28 judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that the legislators have standing to sue. Trump’s Justice Department attorneys filed an interlocutory appeal on Oct. 22. And on Jan. 30, 2019 the plaintiffs’ filed a notice of supplemental authority, notifying the court of the GSA inspector general’s report that criticized GSA for failing to consider if the Trump Hotel D.C.’s lease was in compliance with the U.S. Constitution after Donald Trump became president. Two days later, the president’s attorneys argued that the IG’s conclusion was not inconsistent with Trump’s argument, but that the judge should ignore that report anyway because the IG has no expertise in interpreting or applying the foreign emoluments clause.
Cork’s unfair competition lawsuit—Judge Richard J. Leon dismissed the case on Nov. 26, writing “Cork has failed to state a claim for unfair competition under D.C. law.” On Dec. 10, Cork’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal and on Jan. 10 they submitted a statement of issues to be raised. The next steps, which don’t yet have a timeline, include a briefing schedule being set and both sides filing appellate briefs.
Employees’ class-action suit alleging racial discrimination—Two of the three plaintiffs did not appear at a status hearing on Jan. 25; their cases were moved to arbitration. Via email, their attorney, A.J. Dhali, said his clients did not appear at the hearing because their case already had been moved to arbitration last year. The next status hearing is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Health inspections, current status (latest change, Aug. 10, 2018)
❌Hotel: five violations on May 7, 2018; two were corrected on site
❌BLT Prime and Benjamin Bar: nine violations on Aug. 10, 2018
❌Sushi Nakazawa: two violations on Aug. 10, 2018
✔️Banquet kitchen: no violations on Aug. 10, 2018
❌Pastry kitchen: two violations on Aug. 10, 2018
✔️Gift shop: no violations on May 7, 2018
❌Employee kitchen and in-room dining: five violations on Aug. 10, 2018; two were corrected on site
One thing that has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses (I think, tough to tell sometimes!)
Twitter appears to have suspended the campaign account for Rep. Thomas Massie (R–KY). [H/T @CongressChanges bot]
Massie’s spokesperson did not respond to an inquiry asking for details. A possible clue as to what happened? With his official government account, Massie does like to deploy the hashtag “#sassiewithmassie.”
Thanks for reading. If you like what you see, tell someone—and support this work by becoming a paying member ($5/month or $50/year). If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Questions? Read our FAQ/manifesto. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.