Report: Eric and Dad talk Uruguay
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.
In Uruguay for a site visit, Eric Trump reportedly says he discusses the country with his father
Last month, Trump Organization EVP and son of the president, Eric Trump, visited the construction site of the future Trump Tower Punta del Este in Uruguay according to a tweet he shared yesterday. Eric’s trip does not appear to have been reported previously in the U.S. press.
While in the country, Eric granted an interview to Joaquín Silva of El Observador (which 1100 Pennsylvania would not have thought to look for if it weren’t for Eric’s tweet). In the conversation, Eric said that he doesn’t talk about the commercial property with his father, but they do discuss Uruguay (via Google Translate):
Uruguay is a topic of conversation between you and your father?
Certainly, the issue of the construction of the tower was prior to the period of the policy. I do a good job keeping the commercial policy area separate. That separation is very important for me: but my father knows Uruguay, he talks about Uruguay, and one of his best friends is from Uruguay.
To make clear: That quote is via a translation from Spanish of Eric’s answer, which he mostly likely gave in English. Meaning it’s a translation of a translation. And also to make clear: according to that translation, Eric’s saying that while he doesn’t talk about about Trump Tower Punta del Este with his father, they do discuss the country where the Trump Organization is invested.
Despite the interview’s ground rules prohibiting questions about politics, Silva asked Eric for his thoughts on the need for a border wall. Eric provided a detailed answer on why he agrees with his father.
President Trump, of course, is supposed to be walled off from his businesses while Eric is supposed to be walled off from the administration. Per Trump Oragnization attorney Sheri Dillion at a January 2017 press conference:
The approach that he is taking allows Don and Eric to preserve this great company and its iconic assets. And this approach is best from a conflicts and ethics perspective. It creates a complete separation from President-elect Trump it separates him and prevents him from participating in the business and poses strict limits on what the trustees can do and requires the assent of any ethics adviser to a new deal.
Also, when Eric made a similar visit to Uruguay almost exactly two years ago, U.S. taxpayers paid $97,830 in hotel bills for embassy staff and the Secret Service, according to Amy Brittain and Drew Harwell of The Washington Post.
‘Build the wall’ chants likely tonight at hotel
Three pro-President Trump groups are uniting tonight at his D.C. hotel to support his aspiration to build a wall along the U.S.–Mexican border.
Angel families (a term used to describe relatives of people killed by unauthorized immigrants) and “surprise VIPs” are joining Women for Trump, MAGA Meetups, and America First DC at the event.
Women for Trump’s executive director, Amy Kramer, is slated to attend as well. As of Dec. 10, 2018, one of Kremer’s other groups, Women Vote Smart, still owed the Trump Hotel D.C. $40,000 for a summit it held there in October.
The campaigns for Rep. Jim Jordan (R–OH) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R–NC) each spent $1,461.79 at the Trump Hotel D.C. for food on Nov. 16, 2018. Last week Meadows and Jordan criticized a GSA inspector general report that raised question on the legality of the hotel’s lease. Jordan’s campaign has now spent a total of $10,572.29 at the president’s hotel; Meadows’ total is $4,221.99.
The campaign for Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R–FL) spent $233.60 at the Trump Hotel D.C. for food and beverage on Nov. 27, 2018.
The campaign for Sen. Steve Daines (R–MT) spent $295.20 at the Trump Las Vegas for a meal or event on Dec. 5, 2018.
Iranian dissident Amir Fakhravar shared his thoughts on the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution from a room at the U.S. president’s hotel (per Google Translate). Fakhravar is a proponent of regime change in Iran. His video has been viewed more than 36,500 views times in 17 hours. [Due to a formatting issue, select the link to watch the video (which is in Persian.)]
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–FL) plugged his recent visit to Mar-a-Lago; the club owner’s daughter-in-law/campaign advisor retweeted it.
The president of lobbying firm the Da Vinci Group, Mark Smith, a Trump Hotel D.C. regular, showed the “next generation of leaders” how to take a selfie at the president’s D.C. hotel. Among those future leaders under his wing:
state tax and fiscal policy analyst at the Koch brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, Skip Estes
coordinator for ALEC’s the free speech and membership development department, Giovanni Triana
staff assistant for U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi (R–WY), Sean Joseph Cullen Smith (who’s the son of the lobbyist mentioned at the beginning of this entry)
Yesterday Trump Hotel D.C. staffers received training from Forbes Travel Guide. Forbes gave the Trump Hotel D.C. a five-star rating last year; the Trump Hotel D.C. has paid to advertise with Forbes (“#sponsored”) and even included Forbes’ CEO in its 2017 holiday greeting.
Other Trump Organization news
“When news emerged that Qatar may have unwittingly helped bail out a New York skyscraper owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, eyebrows were raised in Doha.” By Dmitry Zhdannikov, Herbert Lash, and Saeed Azhar for Reuters.
“U.S. Sens. Elizabeth [Warren] and Ed Markey joined fellow Democrats this week in pushing for federal legislation that seeks to enhance ethics requirements presidential transition teams must meet—an issue which has surfaced in wake of President Donald Trump’s 2017 transition.” By Shannon Young for Mass Live.
“7 questions about Trump’s use of illegal workers at his golf courses” by David A. Fahrenthold and Joshua Partlow for The Washington Post
“Attorneys for the Donald J. Trump Foundation accused the New York attorney general’s office of political motivation in its civil lawsuit against the nonprofit, citing recent comments made by Attorney General Letitia James, who took office in January.” By Erica Orden for CNN.
“U.S. Sen. Rick Scott will no longer keep his vast wealth in a blind trust, forgoing a method for publicly disclosing his personal finances that he used during his eight years as Florida’s governor.” Scott, of course, is following Trump’s precedent. By Steve Contorno for The Tampa Bay Times.
Lara Trump, a Trump campaign advisor and wife of Trump Org EVP Eric Trump, congratulated HUD regional administrator Lynne Patton on her accomplishments. Before picking up this political appointment, Patton worked at the Trump Organization where she planned Lara and Eric’s wedding.
House investigations, current status (latest change, Feb. 11, 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)
D.C. and MD attorneys general’s emoluments lawsuit (district court docket, appellate court docket)—
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.
CREW et. al’s emoluments lawsuit—In February, 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, 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!)
Private Mossad for hire: Inside an effort to influence American elections, starting with one small-town race.” By Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker.
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.