Trump favors high-paying hotel VIP, King Coal
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.
Trump advocated for coal-baron supporter who doubles as a high-paying hotel VIP
Remember that The Washington Post landed a bunch of VIP arrival lists from the Trump Hotel D.C. but so far only mentioned that they included T-Mobile execs like CEO John Legere? Looks like The Post plans to share the lists’ contents via a drip rather than a dump.
From yesterday’s “Trump urges Tennessee Valley Authority to keep open an aging coal-burning power plant” by Steven Mufson:
President Trump set up a clash with an independent agency Monday evening with his call for the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep open an aging coal plant that buys much of its coal from a company chaired by Robert E. Murray, one of the president’s major supporters…
Murray is also a customer at Trump’s hotel in downtown Washington, according to a list of “VIP Arrivals” distributed to Trump hotel staff on June 20, 2018. This list, which was obtained by The Washington Post, showed Murray and a fellow coal executive, Heath Lovell of Alliance Energy, checking in for one-night stays. Under both of their names, the hotel’s staff wrote “High Rate,” signifying they were especially high-paying.
Exclusive: Government contractor walked off with Trump Hotel umbrella last May
In case you’re wondering if any detail about the Trump Hotel D.C. is too insignificant to be mentioned in a daily newsletter focused on the Trump Hotel D.C., the answer is actually yes!
But as the good folks at the Joint Chiefs of Staff spent five months replying to a FOIA request about its information management team’s chief’s participation in the Alfresco Government Summit at the Trump Hotel D.C., the least 1100 Pennsylvania can do is share what little interesting info it yielded: a government contractor made off with a Trump Hotel umbrella (which he coined a “Trump-Brella”):
Anyway, you can read the entirety of the FOIA reply on Document Cloud if you think it may be of interest (having read it, twice, I’m not sure that it is).
The campaign for Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) spent $2,594.78 at the Trump Hotel D.C. for catering on Nov. 15, 2018.
Twenty-nine families of people killed by unauthorized immigrants gathered in the president’s hotel before going to lobby on Capitol Hill for the president’s wall. Videos from the hotel of some family members sharing their stories also were posted to Facebook (1, 2, 3).
Temporary Protected Status holders’ rally for permanent protections yesterday included a stop outside the Trump Hotel D.C. [Due to a formatting issue, select the link to play the video.]
An information technician at the U.S. Navy, Rachel Richardson, celebrated a friend’s re-enlistment with a smooth pinot noir at the commander-in-chief’s hotel.
Former Breitbart London editor-in-chief and current associate of Nigel Farage and Steve Bannon, Raheem Kassam; president of the pro-gun Second Amendment Institute, Tyler Yzaguirre; and Fox News pundit and Trump campaign advisor, Harlan Hill, were back at hotel. (Also possible: they’ve never left.)
Another pic of major GOP donor and Fox News advertiser the My Pillow Guy (Mike Lindell) at a Trump property popped up on Instagram
Other Trump Organization news
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s board chair, Norm Eisen, “stepped down yesterday to serve as special oversight counsel to the House Judiciary Committee,” per a press release. CREW is involved in two emoluments lawsuits against the president.
“Judge Ney Bello, of the Federal Regional Court of the 1st Region, denied on Tuesday (12) to revoke the arrest warrant of businessman Paulo Figueiredo Filho. Former member of the defunct Trump Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, the businessman has been on the run since Jan. 29. The Federal Justice in Brasilia has determined the inclusion of his name in the red dissemination list of Interpol, the international police.” By Camila Bomfim for TV Globo, via Google Translate.
10 a.m. PST today is the deadline to order Trump merch from the Trump store and get it delivered by Valentine’s Day.
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!)
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.