'Ukraine collusion' source pops up in 'America's living room'
Ex Ukrainian diplomat chatted about democracy in his country with Jon Voight at president’s hotel
On the day that former National Security Council Fiona Hill asked the House Intelligence Committee not to “promote politically driven falsehoods,” the ex Ukrainian diplomat who’s been pushing the story that his country interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of the Clinton campaign turned up at the Trump Hotel D.C.
Shortly after noon yesterday, Andrii Telizhenko posted a photo of himself from the lobby of the U.S. president’s D.C. hotel with the actor Jon Voight. If Telizhenko did in fact spend money there, he’d be trying to help the U.S. president financially as well as politically.
Telizhenko was a political officer for Ukraine’s embassy in D.C. from December 2015 through June 2016, per his LinkedIn profile. Telizhenko claimed that in that position he’d been tasked with researching connections between Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia for the eventual benefit of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, reported Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern for Politico in January 2017.
Earlier this month, Telizhenko was described as “the former Ukrainian diplomat at the center of allegations that Kyiv meddled in the 2016 election” by Betsy Swan for The Daily Beast.
The same day Telizhenko was at the chief executive’s hotel, Sens. Ron Johnson (R–WI) and Chuck Grassley (R–IA) cited the former ambassador in a letter to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, seeking records about meetings during the Obama administration.
According to various press reports, Telizhenko also has shared his unproven claims in meetings with Rudy Giuliani (of course) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R–CA).
Giuliani was spotted at the Trump Hotel D.C. just 15 hours before Telizhenko’s tweet, reported journalist Shimon Prokupecz. Giuliani and Telizhenko were not seen together.
As for Voight, the pro-Trump actor was in town to pick up the National Medal of Arts from the hotel’s owner at the White House (Voight’s a repeat guest at the Trump Hotel D.C.). Voight later accompanied the president to Dover Air Force Base to receive the remains of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Afterwards he appears to have returned to the Trump Hotel D.C. and mingled with the president’s other customers.
Trump Organization pulled in more than $250,000 from Secret Service in first five months of 2017
The Secret Service spent $254,020.94 at Trump properties between Jan. 27 and June 9, 2017, according to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by watchdog Property of the People.
The Trump Org’s haul was first reported by Natasha Bertrand for Politico.
Eric pegged Trump Wine promotion to Sondland’s testimony
Trump Org EVP Eric Trump found Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s testimony at the impeachment hearing Wednesday morning to be the perfect time to promote Trump Winery.
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A glimpse of the foreign officials, government employees, politicians, lobbyists, and the like who patronize or appear at Trump businesses. Most people shown here have reasons to want to influence the Trump administration, rely on its good graces for their livelihoods, or should be providing oversight. Additionally, high-profile guests serve as draws for paying customers.
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson stood behind the Trump Hotels lectern Thursday night as he delivered remarks to the president’s paying customers.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R–LA) smiled with a U.S. Marine in a MAGA hat.
On Wednesday, Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro had another book signing at the Trump Hotel D.C. Attendees included Trump Org EVP Eric Trump, who spoke at the event, and the designer of the MAGA dress Andre Soriano.
The co-founder of the Japanese cryptocurrency Liberty and the chair of the Japanese Conservative Union, Jikido “Jay” Aeba, met one of the U.S. president’s sons at what appears to be Pirro’s book signing.
Conservative activist Candace Owens posed at BLT Prime with the vice chair of the Georgia College Republicans.
The president of the nonprofit Freedom in Tech Alliance, Keagan Wernicke, brought his Jacob Wohl game to the Trump Hotel D.C.
Other Trump Organization news
On Nov. 21 in one of President Trump’s lawsuits trying to prevent the release of his financial records, attorneys for the House Oversight Committee filed their opposition with the Supreme Court to the president’s emergency application for a stay. The panel’s lawyers argued that the D.C. Circuit’s ruling was correct, but should the Supreme Court grant a stay anyway, the briefing schedule should be expedited.
“Manhattan DA implores Supreme Court to reject Trump tax return case” by Darren Samuelsohn for Politico
“Kentucky governor’s stay at Trump hotel could carry legal implications for president” by Jonathan O’Connell and David A. Fahrenthold for The Washington Post
“Congress awaits IG report on cancellation of FBI headquarters move” by Capital News Service for Maryland Matters
“Far-right group warning of Islamist infiltration to hold banquet at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club” by David A. Fahrenthold for The Washington Post
“Prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization zero in on Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg” by Peter Elkind for ProPublica
“R.N.C. spent nearly $100,000 on copies of Donald Trump Jr.’s book” by Alexandra Alter and Nicholas Confessore for The New York Times
“Kushner Cos.’ Times Square loan heads for workout amid rent woes” by Caleb Melby for Bloomberg
“Judge denies Trump’s request to dismiss Summer Zervos defamation case” by Veronica Stracqualursi and Athena Jones for CNN
“Elise Stefanik makes case that Don Jr. and Eric Trump must resign from Trump Organization” by Marcy Wheeler for emptywheel
“CT congressional candidate in Trump’s inner circle—or is he?” by Emilie Munson
The American Bar Association is offering members a discount again at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York for the fourth quarter 2019.
Trump suggested that he may eat at his first D.C.-area restaurant as president other than his own, reported Annie Karni of The New York Times. (He made a similar promise more than two years ago and is yet to follow through on it.)
Links to rundowns of developments in the House’s investigations and lawsuits, reference sheets for some of 1100 Pennsylvania’s previous reporting, and articles that provide the background on why all of this matters. The date published or last updated is in parentheses.
House investigations (Nov. 22, 2019)
Lawsuits (Oct. 30, 2019)
Breakdown of judges’ rulings by political party of presidents who nominated them in emoluments, unfair competition, and House committee investigations lawsuits (Nov. 13, 2019)
Health inspections (latest change June 14, 2019)
Notable hotel customers
Foreign governments with representatives spotted at the Trump Hotel D.C.: 29 (Oct. 2, 2019)
Trump cabinet members spotted at the Trump Hotel D.C.: 25 of 33 (Sept. 26, 2019)
U.S. Senators who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: 28 of 53 Republicans, one Democrat (Oct. 22, 2019)
House Judiciary members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Seven of 17 Republicans, no Democrats (Oct. 17, 2019)
House Intelligence members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Four of nine Republicans, 0 Democrats (Nov. 8, 2019)
House Oversight members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Six of 17 Republicans, no Democrats (Oct. 17, 2019)
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–CA) found Trump’s hotels competitive only after Trump’s election (Sept. 12, 2019)
Rudy Giuliani at the Trump Hotel D.C: A retrospective (April 30, 2019)
The top stories showing how Trump has profited from his presidency via his D.C. hotel (Sept. 27, 2019)
“Power tripping in the swamp: How Trump’s D.C. hotel swallowed Washington
The MAGA social scene is a movable feast, but its dark heart resides within the Old Post Office Building, where the Trump Org operates under a mercenary charter” by your correspondent for Vanity Fair (October 2019)
“Inside the world’s most controversial hotel: The hotel that was expected to take its place among the crown jewels of D.C.’s travel scene has become a magnet for protestors, a West Wing Annex, and—possibly—the center of a constitutional crisis.” by your correspondent for Condé Nast Traveler (May 2018)
Upcoming key dates
Sept. 23 —House Judiciary Committee hearing “Presidential corruption: Emoluments and profiting off the presidency” (postponed, not yet rescheduled)
Nov. 4—House Transportation Committee chair’s subpoena deadline seeking documents related to hotel’s lease (response came a week late and was deemed insufficient)
Nov. 22—Oral arguments before D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cork wine bar’s unfair competition suit
Dec. 7—D.C. Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1’s holiday party at the Trump Hotel D.C.
Dec. 9—Oral arguments before D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Democratic lawmakers emoluments suit
Dec. 12—Oral arguments before full 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. and Maryland attorneys general’s emoluments suit
Jan. 23—Status hearing with D.C. Superior Court in former hotel employees hearing alleging racial discrimination
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