Rep. Titus may already have hurt Trump's bottom line
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 paying for a subscription. 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.
Leading Dem on subcommittee overseeing GSA may already have cost Trump Org business
A Democratic Congresswoman who last week pledged to “lead the effort to hold the Trump Administration accountable for” what she considers the Trump Hotel D.C.’s “egregious violation of the Constitution” appeared in that very same hotel last May to accept an award from a delegation lobbying on behalf of a foreign country.
But Rep. Dina Titus’s (D–NV) visit may have cost the president’s hotel business in the long run.
In the wake of an inspector general report that criticized GSA’s handling of the hotel’s lease, on Jan. 16, 2018 Titus’s office issued a press release that quoted her as saying,
As long as the President continues to personally profit from the Trump Hotel in Washington, he is essentially accepting bribes from giant corporations looking for sweetheart deals and from foreign interests currying favor.
In May 2018, however, Rep. Titus stood behind a Trump Hotels lectern in a Trump Hotel D.C. ballroom to accept an award from a pro–Cyprus group.
The 34th annual International Coordinating Committee’s “Justice For Cyprus (PSEKA) Conference” was in D.C., at the Trump Hotel, looking “into ways of exerting influence on U.S. President Donald Trump with a view to avert the Islamization of the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus,” per the semi-government-funded but editorial independent Cyprus News Agency. It also reported that two mayors of occupied Cypriot towns and a Greek member of parliament attended the conference, although it’s not clear if they were present for Titus’s remarks.
According to a person with knowledge of how the events unfolded, however, Titus did not know the conference’s location when she accepted PSEKA’s invitation. She only learned it was scheduled for the Trump Hotel D.C. after PSEKA published a press release announcing her appearance. Rather than back out though, Titus told the group she’d still participate—but only if PSKEA promised to never again hold an event at any Trump property.
A month after it occurred, Titus’s hotel appearance was first reported in The Daily Beast’s “Delegation from Mueller-scrutinized Cyprus gets sweet deal at Trump’s D.C. hotel” (hey, that’s my byline!). But information about the deal she made with PSEKA has not been reported previously .
In response to questions about why Titus agreed to attend an event at the president’s property and didn’t just back out after learning of its whereabouts, Titus’s communications director, Kevin Gerson, replied,
Congresswoman Titus, like so many Americans, is concerned about Trump profiting off his presidency in violation of the Constitution. She has never spent a penny at a Trump property, and she will not allow this distraction to prevent her from doing her job to hold this administration accountable for its gross misconduct.
Later this morning, Titus is expected to be elected chair of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee—which oversees GSA. On The Rachel Maddow Show last week, Titus described her approach if elected: “We will hold hearings, and we will bring the inspector general in, and the GSA, and whoever it takes from the hotel to see if we can get some answers.”
The only other elected Democratic officials your correspondent can recall seeing at the Republican president’s Pennsylvania Avenue hotel are
then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was attending a benefit for veterans with disabilities
Hotel ranks seventh in Trip Advisor’s Travelers' Choice Awards
From Trip Advisor’s press release announcing its top hotels in the United States for 2019:
Previously Washington’s historic Old Post Office, this luxurious downtown hotel features a restaurant, bar/lounge, walkway museum, spa and 263 uniquely designed rooms and suites. “Everyone on staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. The location is perfect for walkers—we went to Capitol Hill, the Mall, White House, Newseum. The shuttle will take you anywhere within 3 miles. The room was beautiful and very relaxing. Would definitely make this my go-to place in the city,” noted a recent TripAdvisor review.
The president’s Pennsylvania Avenue property was the sole D.C.-area hotel to crack the top 10. It also came in fourth in the top U.S. luxury hotel property category.
1100 Pennsylvania already reported that Florida State Rep. Kathleen Mick Peters (R) enjoyed some champagne at the hotel before heading off to Rick Scott’s (R) swearing in as a U.S. Senator. Now we know Peters wasn’t just drinking at the hotel; she was staying there too.
An anonymous Twitter user claimed he or she went to the U.S. president’s hotel just to hear the U.S. president’s immigration speech.
The Fight4Her campaign protested Trump’s earlier reinstatement of the global gag rule, which prevents nongovernmental organizations that receive U.S. government funding from providing or discussing abortions, with a Robin Bell-led visual protest on the hotel’s Pennsylvania Avenue frontage.
Legal cases, current status (latest change, Jan. 11, 2018)
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. Oral augments on the appeal are tentatively scheduled for March 19–21, although on Dec. 26 the briefing schedule was suspended until further notice after Trump’s DoJ attorneys asked for a stay because of the federal government shutdown. (Discovery had started Dec. 3 and was scheduled to run through Aug. 2, 2019, with the AGs already having issued 38 subpoenas, including to the Trump Organization; the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Treasury and the GSA; and the state of Maine.)
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.
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—A status hearing on arbitration is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2019.
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
Other Trump Organization news
“House Foreign Affairs plans probe into whether Trump’s businesses impact foreign policy decisions” by Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb for CNN
“Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen delays House testimony” by Darren Samuelsohn and Caitlin Oprysko
One thing that has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses (I think, tough to tell sometimes!)
“Life without the tech giants” by Kashmir Hill
Thanks for reading. If you like what you saw, tell someone—and support this work by paying for a subscription. 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.