QAnon reaches Mar-a-Lago's kitchen
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.
QAnon reaches Mar-a-Lago's kitchen
“I am a pastry chef and work at Mar a Lago in the chocolate shop,” reads Elizabeth Alfieri’s bio on Trumpettes USA, where members’ mission is to help elect Donald Trump. “I specifically stepped down from my position at Eau Palm Beach Resort to have the privilege of using my talents for the service of the First Family.”
Since coming on board at Mar-a-Lago in November 2017, Alfieri has posted regularly about her work on Instagram, sharing photos of pastries, dining setups, and Secret Service pins. More than 35 of those photos she captioned with tags associated with followers of the QAnon conspiracy, such as #Q, #Qanon, #Qarmy, and #wwg1wga (where we go one we go all).
QAnon, or Q, is the source behind The Storm, a “conspiracy [that] features secret cabals, a child sex-trafficking ring led (in part) by the satanic Democratic Party, and of course, countless logical leaps and paranoid assumptions that fail to hold up under the slightest fact-based scrutiny,” Paris Martineau explained for New York Magazine in 2017. The theory has mutated a bit since Martineau’s piece. Avi Selk’s article in The Washington Post provides an update to Martineau’s work (spoiler: JFK Jr. is back!). In any telling though, President Trump, Alfieri’s boss, is the hero, working to dismantle a Democratic-led deep state that rapes children.
Alfieri did not respond to an inquiry sent through Instagram asking to verify her belief in the QAnon conspiracy and if it predated her employment at Mar-a-Lago. Within a day of being contacted, her Instagram account became private. But screenshots had already happened.
Skullduggery podcast looks at Trump’s D.C. hotel (with me)
Today’s episode of Yahoo’s Skullduggery podcast examines the Trump Hotel D.C. Joining hosts Michael Isikoff and Hunter Walker is special guest me (the segment on the hotel starts at 16:48). Listen here.
It is now news when Maine’s governor travels to D.C. and does not stay at the president’s hotel
From “Mills ends Maine’s absence from National Governors Association meeting” by Scott Thistle for The Portland Press Herald:
But [Maine Gov. Janet] Mills [(D)] told a reporter for the Portland Press Herald on Thursday morning that she would be staying at the Marriott Marquis during her trip and “not at the Trump hotel.” She also said she believed some of the costs of the trip, both airfare and lodging, would be reimbursed by the governors association.
Room rates at the Marriott on Thursday were just over $236 a night, according to priceline.com.
The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram recently disclosed that [Mills’ predecessor Paul] LePage [(R)] and members of his staff had stayed a total of 40 nights at the Trump International Hotel during LePage’s last two years in office, at times paying as much as $1,100 a night.
The lowest rates for the Trump International Hotel for Thursday were $450 per night, according to priceline.com.
U.S. ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft, recently dined at the hotel with Rep. James Comer (R–KY) according to Lesley Clark for McClatchy. Craft is a contender to be the hotel owner’s pick for U.N. ambassador.
Before heading to the White House for a reception in honor of National African-American History Month, this group was at the Trump Hotel D.C., along with Blaze TV’s Eric Bolling.
And prior to his dinner with the president, Derrick Gradenigo stayed at the president’s hotel down the street.
Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens was back at the hotel.
The executive editor at the Hoover Institution, Tunku Varadarajan, ordered a gimlet.
Looks like some group is about to spend a bunch of money at the president’s D.C. hotel. Know who? Contact me securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.
Other Trump Organization news
“Who was behind the plan to give Saudi Arabia nuclear power, and what was their agenda?” hosted by Ilya Marritz and Charlie Herman for WNYC and ProPublica
“Residents of another Manhattan building vote to remove ‘Trump Place’ name” by David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post
“U.S. President Donald Trump and his adult children on Thursday urged a federal judge to dismiss a racketeering lawsuit accusing them of using the family name to promote sham marketing opportunities to vulnerable, financially struggling investors.” By Jonathan Stempel for Reuters.
House investigations, current status (latest change, Feb. 21, 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 to 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. In a Feb. 15 letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Cummings said the committee received documents showing a White House attorney and one of Trump’s personal attorneys provided “false information” to the Office of Government Ethics regarding Michael Cohen’s “hush-money payments.” A Feb. 20 memo from the majority laid out the scope for the Feb. 27 hearing with Michael Cohen. Topics include the Trump Hotel D.C.
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 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. GSA has “sent a partial response and the subcommittee is reviewing it,” according to a senior House staffer familiar with the situation. 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. 22, 2019)
D.C. and MD attorneys general’s emoluments lawsuit (district court docket, appellate court docket)—
UPDATED Official capacity—On Dec. 20, 2018, 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 having subpoenaed the Trump Organization, including its Scottish 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.” Trump’s DOJ attorneys replied on Feb. 21: “Plaintiffs fundamentally err, substantively and procedurally.”
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. 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 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.
CREW et. al’s emoluments lawsuit—In February 2018, CREW appealed its suit being dismissed for lack of standing to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments on that motion were held on Oct. 30.
Cork’s unfair competition lawsuit—Judge Richard J. Leon dismissed the case on Nov. 26, 2018, 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, 2019 they submitted a statement of issues to be raised. The next steps, which don’t yet have a timeline, include setting a briefing schedule 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, 2019; 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!)
From “America’s cops take an interest in social media” by The Economist:
Should the police monitor social media? The question seems to have an obvious answer. Social media, says Joe Giacalone, a retired New York Police Department detective who now teaches at John Jay College, is “a treasure trove for investigators. People post stuff they shouldn’t…vehicles, weapons, you name it. If you’re dumb enough to post something on social media and you’re wanted for a crime, you deserve to get caught.”
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.