U.S. ambassador to Britain's NFL team booked Bedminster
New York Jets golf outing among these 10 events at Trump properties
Woody Johnson, President Trump’s U.S. ambassador to Britain, owns the New York Jets. Last week, Johnson’s Jets held a golf outing at Trump’s Bedminster for “C-level decision makers from our roster of premium and corporate partners.” (Related: U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Callista Gingrich, has visited at least six different Trump properties since May 2016.)
The Brian Mitchell and Friends Golf Tournament took place at Trump’s Sterling, Virginia golf course on June 3. Mitchell is a retired NFL player. Former University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Gary Williams, basketball player Lonny Baxter, and retired football players Cato June and Bruce Perry attended. After the event, which raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Children’s National Hospital, some participants enjoyed cigars.
June 4–6 Trump Charlotte hosted the 55th Mobipaid North Carolina Open. Mobipad is a mobile-payment processor.
Operating in the heavily regulated financial-services industry, First Trust held a conference at the U.S. president’s D.C. hotel on June 6–7, according to its chief economist, Brian Wesbury. First Trust hosted events at the Trump Hotel D.C. in 2017 and 2018 too.
The Washington, D.C. Conservative Book Club will discuss Why We Fight by former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka in the Trump Hotel D.C.’s lobby on June 18 (meaning there’s a good chance attendees will spot the author).
Prominent Trump supporters Diamond and Silk are taking their chit chat live tour to Doral on June 22.
Operating in the heavily regulated financial services industry, Northwestern Mutual’s Lubert Financial is sponsoring a golf tournament at Doral on June 29.
July 6 will see the Trump 2020 GALA at Trump Hotel Chicago. Tickets are $250 to $1,000. Roger Stone is scheduled to keynote. United America for Trump is hosting the event—it’s a privately owned LLC and not affiliated with any candidates or committees.
Chiropractors aiming to become celebs will gather at Trump Jupiter on Aug. 3 for The Chiro Event.
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Pro-Cyprus conference took its business elsewhere in 2019
In May 2018, the 34th annual International Coordinating Committee’s “Justice For Cyprus (PSEKA) Conference” took place at the Trump Hotel D.C. According to state-supported media, the group was 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.”
Rep. Dina Titus (D–NV) was honored at the conference, making her one of the few elected Democrats to appear at the president’s D.C. hotel. But as 1100 Pennsylvania reported in January—
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 glimpse of the foreign officials, government employees, politicians, lobbyists, and the like who patronize or appear at Trump businesses. Most of the 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.
In April, former Sen. Bob Dole (R–KS) was promoted to U.S. Army colonel. Dole, the 1996 GOP presidential nominee who more recently has acted as a foreign agent representing Taiwan, recently was spotted at the hotel owned by the person who signed off on his promotion. Libby Dole was there too. She was a secretary of transportation in the Reagan administration and later was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Petrina Pyle ordered the bacon. She’s a special assistant to Bob Dole at Alston & Bird LLP where her duties include “serv[ing] as a liaison between the Senator and the Executive & Legislative branches. Track[ing] all interaction and accompanying action items. Manag[ing] Senator Dole's international client portfolio.” (And, yes, based on the outfit, that appears to be Libby Dole on the other side of the bacon curtain.)
A staffer at the Defense Health Agency, Michael Garland, enjoyed every second of his time at the commander-in-chief’s hotel.
A manager for a national construction industry trade association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Amy Faris, got classy.
Harford County (Maryland) Republican Central Committee member, Matt Resnik, who’s also a legislative intern to state delegate Kathy Szeliga (R), dined at a hotel owned by the head of his party.
Other Trump Organization news
For the second straight weekend, President Trump golfed on both days at his Sterling, Virginia course, per the White House press pool. Saturday, Trump was joined by public liaison assistant to the president, Andrew Giuliani; chairman of the National Credit Union Administration Board, Rodney Hood; and lobbyist Nick Owens, per Politico. And on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–SC) golfed with Trump. Sunday marked the sixth time in nine days the U.S. president visited one of his properties.
“Trump’s $3.6 million Ireland detour brings taxpayer-funded golf tab to $105.8 million” by S.V. Date for Huff Post
“Donald Trump’s golf round: ‘No politics, no business, no money. It was just us talking about golf’” by Simon Carswell for The Irish Times
“Company part-owned by Jared Kushner got $90m from unknown offshore investors since 2017” by Jon Swaine for The Guardian
“Democrat who can get New York tax returns will not pursue them” by Laura Davison for Bloomberg
President Trump said he’s a member of pro-business lobbying organization, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this morning, per Eamon Javers of CNBC. (In April, Tom Donohue, the chamber’s president and CEO, delivered the keynote to the 37th Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations, which was held at the Trump Hotel D.C.)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–NY) responded to news that an Iraqi sheikh pushing to overthrown Iran’s government spent 26 straight nights at the Trump Hotel D.C. (by Joshua Partlow, David A. Fahrenthold and Taylor Luck for The Washington Post).
Judy Shelton, reportedly a possible Trump nominee for the Federal Reserve, explained why she recently gave an interview from the Trump Hotel D.C. (to Gina Heeb of Business Insider): “For me the easiest, most convenient place was at the Trump Hotel. And I saw people say, oh, oh, she’s trying to promote that. I thought no, it’s a block or two from Treasury and they leave you alone and you can have a cup of coffee and sit there and no one bothers you and there’s not loud music that drives you.” Shelton did not explain why she also suggested hosting an international conference at Mar-a-Lago.
“Trump Organization former counsel George Sorial details the president’s awe at his ascent from real estate to the White House” by Rebecca Ballhaus for The Wall Street Journal
“How with brass neck and a bit of luck Donald Trump bought our man dinner” by John Lee for Extra.ie
President Trump chose not to divest; Americans need to know who’s paying him
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House investigations, current status (latest change, June 3, 2019)
The committee sent a inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank on Jan. 24. On March 1, chair Rep. Maxe Waters (D–CA) said the bank is cooperating with her committee and that staffers from the panel have met with bank employees in New York. On March 11, the committee requested documents on Trump’s businesses from Capital One; the bank “said it was already preserving documents but needs a subpoena in order to comply” per Politico. On April 15, that subpoena was issued. All told, the committee reportedly has subpoenaed nine banks for information about President Trump’s finances. President Trump, Don. Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and their businesses sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One on April 30, however, in an attempt to prevent them from sharing financial records with Congress. Deutsche Bank reportedly has been willing to cooperate with lawmakers. On May 3, the Trumps filed for a preliminary injunction to block the subpoenas. But judge Edgardo Ramos declined to issue that injunction on May 22, saying that the financial institutions can comply with the lawmakers’ request. The Trumps’ appealed that ruling on May 24. The lawmakers and Trumps agreed to refrain from enforcing the subpoenas until after the appellate court issues its ruling. The court announced it will expedite the briefing process, which will end on June 18, and hold a hearing held shortly thereafter.
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.
On March 4, the committee “served document requests to 81 agencies, entities, and individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation,” according to a statement by the panel. Among the individuals the committee requested documents from are Trump Organization EVPs Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, EVP and COO Michael Calamari, CFO Alan Weisselberg, EVP and chief legal officer Alan Garten, Trump tax attorney Sherri Dillon, longtime Trump executive assistant Rhona Graff, former Trump advisor Felix Sater, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, and Trump associate and inaugural chair Tom Barrack. The committee received “tens of thousands” of documents by the March 18 deadline the letters set for responses, according to its chair, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D–NY). Among the respondents: Barrack, Steve Bannon, and the National Rifle Association. But more than half of the targets had not replied by April 3, two weeks after the deadline. On that day, the committee authorized subpoenas for former White House aides Bannon, Ann Donaldson, Hope Hicks, Donald McGahn, and Reince Priebus, per Politico. And on May 21, the committee did in fact subpoena Hicks and Donaldson. Attorneys for the Trump Organization, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump did not respond to Politico’s inquires if their clients planned to reply. The committee is considering making additional document requests, including to Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The committee interviewed Felix Sater on March 21.
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.
On Feb. 10, Schiff said the committee would investigate Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, a major lender to 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. On Feb. 28, an aide said the panel expects to interview Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.
During testimony on March 6, Michael Cohen turned over documents that allegedly show how Trump’s then-personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, edited Cohen’s statement regarding Trump Tower Moscow. Cohen later read this revised statement before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. In closed-door testimony in March, Cohen claimed the president submitted a false insurance claim regarding a fresco in Trump Tower. Felix Sater, who was connected to the Trump Moscow project, was scheduled to testify in an open hearing on March 27, but that has been postponed.
Schiff hired a veteran prosecutor experienced with combating Russian organized crime to lead this investigation.
The committee is also seeking to interview Trump inauguration organizer Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
On March 11, the committee requested documents on Trump’s businesses from Capital One; the bank “said it was already preserving documents but needs a subpoena in order to comply” per Politico. On April 15, that subpoena was issued. All told, the committee reportedly has subpoenaed nine banks for information about President Trump’s finances. President Trump, Don. Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and their businesses sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One on April 30, however, in an attempt to prevent them from sharing financial records with Congress. Schiff said Deutsche Bank has been willing to cooperate with lawmakers. On May 3, the Trumps filed for a preliminary injunction to block the subpoenas. But judge Edgardo Ramos declined to issue that injunction on May 22, saying that the financial institutions can comply with the lawmakers’ request. The Trumps’ appealed that ruling on May 24. The lawmakers and Trumps agreed to refrain from enforcing the subpoenas until after the appellate court issues its ruling. The court announced it will expedite the briefing process, which will end on June 18, and hold a hearing held shortly thereafter.
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,” on Jan. 13. In a Feb. 15 letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Cummings said the committee received documents showing White House attorney Stefan Passantino and long-time Trump personal attorney Sheri Dillon provided “false information” to the Office of Government Ethics regarding Michael Cohen’s “hush-money payments.” As a result, Cummings wants to depose Passantino and Dillon; the White House, however, rejected Cummings’ request to interview Passantino. And on Feb. 27, Cohen testified to the committee about those payments and other Trump Organization business practices, which could lead to allegations of possible insurance fraud. The next day, House Democrats signaled they would seek testimony from Trump Organization officials whom Cohen alleged were implicated, including Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and CFO Allen Weisselberg.
On March 6, Cummings requested information from the GSA about its reversal of an earlier decision to relocate FBI headquarters, which is located across the street from the Trump Hotel D.C. And on April 12 Cummings wrote to the GSA again, this time requesting all monthly reports from the Trump Hotel D.C., information about any liens on the hotel, a slew of correspondence between the Trump Org and GSA, and legal opinions regarding the Trump Org’s compliance with the lease. Cummings gave an April 26 deadline; staffers for the committee and Cummings have not replied to inquiries asking if GSA replied and to what extent.
The committee also has requested 10 years of Trump’s financial records. And on March 11, the committee requested documents on Trump’s businesses from Capital One; the bank “said it was already preserving documents but needs a subpoena in order to comply” per Politico. On April 12, Cummings notified committee members that he plans to subpoena Mazars USA, Trump’s accounting firm, for his financial statements. President Trump, the Trump Organization, and the Trump Hotel D.C. sued Cummings and Mazars USA on April 22 in an attempt to prevent the release of Trump’s financial records. Cummings postponed the subpoenas’ deadline while the courts address the president’s suit. On May 20, U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta denied the president’s motion. Trump appealed the next day and two days after that, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ judges agreed to fast track the case, with oral arguments scheduled for July 12. But without further relief, Mazars could start turning over documents as soon as next week.
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 members of the Trump family dating back to 2015, an explanation of how the D.C. hotel calculates its profits, profit statements since the hotel opened, 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. GSA has “sent a partial response and the subcommittee is reviewing it,” according to a senior House staffer familiar with the situation. 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. Titus is hiring additional staffers to handle the investigation.
On March 6, Titus requested information from the GSA about its reversal of an earlier decision to relocate the FBI headquarters, which is located across the street from the Trump Hotel D.C. NPR reported on March 15 that, “Democrats on the committee want to know, among other things, whether there was any political pressure exerted on the GSA by the Trump White House, presidential campaign or transition team. They also want to know how the Trump Hotel calculates its profits, segregates incoming money from foreign governments, and what the Trump Organization owes the GSA on a monthly or annual basis.’”
Ways and Means
On April 3, chairman Richard Neal (D–MA) requested six years of Trump’s personal tax returns, as well as the returns for eight of his businesses (including that of the trust that holds the president’s ownership stake in the D.C. hotel). After the IRS missed Neal’s deadline and then an extension, Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin said he’d make a decision whether or not to release the returns by May 6. He declined to do so. On May 10, the committee subpoenaed Mnuchin and IRS commissioner Charles Rettig, giving them a May 17 deadline to turn over Trump’s tax returns. Mnuchin again declined to comply. Neal suspects he’ll know his next move by May 24, but earlier he indicated he’ll take the issue to the federal courts.
Also, the subcommittee on Oversight 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, May 30, 2019)
D.C. and MD attorneys general’s emoluments lawsuit
Official capacity—On Dec. 20, 2018, 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. 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 having subpoenaed the Trump Organization, including its Scottish 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 occurred on March 19; by all accounts the three-judge panel (all Republican appointees, including one who was a selection of President Trump’s) were skeptical of the AGs’ case. D.C. AG Karl Racine pledged to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
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.”
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. 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 Constitution after 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. On April 30, Sullivan denied Trump’s motion to dismiss the suit. While the president’s attorneys have a supplemental brief due on May 28, on May 14 they filed a motion to stay the proceedings while they appeal Sullivan’s decision. A week later, the lawmakers opposed that motion. On May 28, the plaintiffs proposed discovery taking place from June 20 through September 27 with them reviewing documents and taking depositions from the Trump Organization and other corporations in which the president has an ownership interest.
CREW et. al’s emoluments lawsuit
Cork’s unfair competition lawsuit
Judge Richard J. Leon dismissed the case on Nov. 26, 2018, 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, 2019 they submitted a statement of issues to be raised. Cork filed its first appellant brief on May 15, arguing “the District Court failed to recognize the evolving nature of the common law of unfair competition in the District of Columbia and erroneously treated the prior cases as if they were a series of statutes that Appellant had to satisfy to state a claim. Attorneys for the president and his hotel requested a 31-day extension for filing their brief, with Cork’s consent, which the court granted on May 28. Trump’s brief is now due on July 15.
Employees’ class-action suit alleging racial discrimination
D.C. superior court (direct link not available, search for case 2017 CA 006517 B)
Two of the three plaintiffs did not appear at a status hearing on Jan. 25, 2019; 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, May 28, 2019)
❌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 May 16, 2019
❌Pastry kitchen—two violations on Aug. 10, 2018
✔️In-room dining—one violation on May 16, 2019; it was corrected on site
❌Northwest kitchen—three violations on May 16, 2019; two were corrected on site
✔️Gift shop—no violations on May 7, 2018
✔️Employee cafeteria—no violations on May 16, 2019
Is the Trump Organization selling merchandise that depicts the White House? (latest change, March 21, 2019)
One thing that (probably) has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses
“Journalists can’t repeat their Watergate-hero act. The reasons should make us grieve.” By Margaret Sullivan for The Washington Post
Thanks for reading. If you like what you saw, tell someone—and support this work by becoming a member. 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.