Trump inaugural paid Trump hotel. A lot.
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 inaugural committee paid Trump hotel $175,000—per day—for event space
From “New evidence emerges of possible wrongdoing by Trump inaugural committee” by Justin Elliott of ProPublica and Ilya Marritz of WNYC:
Federal prosecutors in New York are circling Donald Trump’s inaugural committee as part of a wide-ranging investigation into possible money laundering, illegal contributions and cash-for-access schemes. Now, WNYC and ProPublica have identified evidence of potential tax law violations by the committee.
A spokesman confirmed that the nonprofit 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee paid the Trump International Hotel a rate of $175,000 per day for event space—in spite of internal objections at the time that the rate was far too high. If the committee is deemed by auditors or prosecutors to have paid an above-market rate, that could violate tax laws prohibiting self-dealing, according to experts.
Hours after justifying DOJ’s defense of Trump in emoluments suits, acting AG Whitaker heads to Trump Hotel D.C.
During his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, acting attorney general Matt Whitaker was grilled by Rep. Steve Cohen (D–TN) on whether it was proper for the Department of Justice to defend President Trump in the emoluments suits. [Due to a formatting limitation, select the link to play the video.]
Just a few hours later, Whitaker was seen at that very same hotel (via Maggie Haberman of The New York Times):
While photos of Whitaker at his boss’s hotel haven’t yet turned up online (if you have one, please do get in touch (securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744), when Whittaker got Trump’s nod to be acting AG, his daughter’s Facebook profile pic showed her at the Trump Hotel D.C.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere wants you to know he is not staying at the Trump Hotel D.C. (this time)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere went live on Facebook yesterday and kicked off his cooking show by letting the world know he was not back at the Trump Hotel D.C.: “I’m in Washington, D.C., and I am at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Get that, write that down, that could be pertinent information.” [H/T John Hendel of Politico]
Yes, not all heroes wear capes, but also not all capes are worn by heroes. [Due to a formatting limitation, select the link to play the video.]
Worshipers at the Trump Hotel D.C. ‘saw the Lord commission a freedom movement’
From a recap of Revolution 2018, hosted at the Trump Hotel D.C. last December (after being turned away by The Museum of the Bible):
It was a total surprise for our conference to be shifted from the Museum of the Bible to the Trump International Hotel. On December 7, at the Trump International, we saw the Lord commission a freedom movement. Not a coincidence this occurred on the 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and our entry into World War II. Because in like fashion today’s freedom movement is being sent to restrain the tide global totalitarianism in this hour, and provide God’s covenant people a safe passage to preservation, inheritance and harvest.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–FL) visited Mar-a-Lago.
Thursday’s 1100 Pennsylvania reported that the Peace Corps’ deputy chief of staff, Matt McKinney, was at the Trump Hotel D.C. (“being boujee” no less). Turns out he was accompanied by the Peace Corps’s chief compliance officer, Anne Hughes.
An account executive for government contractor Dell EMC, Cordy Sellers, who works with both the legislative and executive branches; legislative correspondent for Sen Rob. Portman (R–OH), Kristen Siegele; communications director for Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R–TN), Kasey Lovett; and legislative aide for Rep. Bruce Westerman (R–AR), Nicholas Lisowski, celebrated someone’s birthday with a nod to the president’s campaign slogan in the president’s hotel.
As a senior consultant at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, Jake Conway, “provide[s] broad and special purpose government contract compliance risk assessments, program assessment, development, and implementation. Offer[s] contract management assessments and best practices, and assist with federal acquisition regulation (FAR) compliance. Constantly helping contractors proactively address compliance and minimize risk.” He celebrated his birthday at the Trump Hotel D.C.
Trumpette Nicole Dicocco celebrated her birthday at the Trump Hotel D.C. and showed off a clutch bearing the campaign slogan of the hotel’s owner. She used to be the spokesperson for Libya’s embassy in the United States.
Other Trump Organization news
“Xi may soon come to Mar-a-Lago. President Trump's advisers have informally discussed holding a summit there next month with Chinese President Xi Jinping to try to end the U.S.-China trade war.” By Jonathan Swan for Axios.
“A Trump property earned money from a political committee one out of every two days from 2017 until the midterms” by Philip Bump for The Washington Post
Mar-a-Lago members responded to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–MA) inquiring about their reputed roles running the VA, via Isaac Arnsdorf of Pro Publica:
Adam Davidson of The New Yorker disputed White House staffer Ivanka Trump’s claim that she’s not concerned about Robert Mueller’s investigation because her family never did business with Iran [select the link to read Davidson’s thread]:
White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (who once keynoted “nonsectarian Christian institution” Hillsdale College’s Constitution Day celebration at the Trump Hotel D.C.) weighed in on why questions about the Trump Organization’s hiring of undocumented workers are best directed at his boss’s other endeavor [via Manu Raju of CNN]:
Independent journalist Seth Hettena noted that The National Enquirer’s attorney previously represented the Trump Organization:
Katie Rosman of The New York Times noted the AMI board also has a Trump Organization connection:
“A company owned by Keith Schiller, President Donald Trump's former longtime bodyguard, has received $225,000 from the RNC for security consulting since he left his White House job in September 2017.” By Christina Wilkie for CNBC.
“Donald Trump’s firm forced to redraw housing plans at Scottish golf course” by Martin McLaughlin for The Scotsman
A Trump Las Vegas penthouse is for sale, asking price $1.8 million. Take the video tour.
HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher noted Trump Tower’s video advertisement for commercial tenants and redid the audio so it targeted Russians (via Charlie Stephens, the real estate advisor in the video ads).
“Jose Andres: Ivanka Trump came to thank volunteers at food kitchen during shutdown, 'you do not choose who your father is’” by Brendan Cole for Newsweek
No new info, but Twitter user QWarrior1917 shared video from 2013 of Donald Trump plugging the Trump Hotel D.C. on Late Night with David Letterman [starts at 4:58; due to a formatting issue, select the link to watch the video]
Trump Org EVP Donald Trump Jr. made a racist joke. [H/T Ashley Feinberg of Huffington Post]
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.
UPDATED 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. 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!)
Listen to the latest podcast episode of The Privacy, Security, & OSINT [open source intelligence] Show: “Back to Basics: Phones & MySudo”
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.