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.
Live from the president’s hotel’s lobby, it’s the Eric Bolling State of the Union after-show
Like a BW3 hosting a college coach’s post-game AM radio call-in show, tonight the lobby of the U.S. president’s D.C. luxury hotel will be the site of Eric Bolling’s live State of the Union after-show on Blaze TV.
Tonight likely also marks the third time in the past month that the hotel will kill its house music in favor of playing audio of a national TV address from its owner (it reportedly aired both of his speeches on immigration).
Last year during the State of the Union, former Trump campaign executives Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie signed copies of their book at a table near the lobby’s reception desk.
The hotel’s managing director, Mickael Damelincourt, and director of marketing, Patricia Tang, did not reply to an email asking to confirm the hotel was hosting Blaze’s live show.
Also, your correspondent was unable to find any other D.C. luxury hotels hosting a post-SOTU broadcast from their lobby.
Report: Turkey’s deputy minister of foreign affairs scheduled to keynote U.S.-Turkey conference
From “Turkish deputy foreign minister to speak at Washington U.S.-Turkey relations conference” by Ahval:
Turkey’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sedat Önal, is set to join the 37th Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. as a key note speaker in April.
The conference, organised by the top U.S.-Turkish business group, the American-Turkish Council (ATC), and its Turkish counterpart, will be held between April 14 and April 16 after a year of delays.
The ATC announced its second delay in six months last October, days before the event was scheduled to take place. Participants were informed of the delay by email shortly after Ankara’s release of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor whose two-year detention on terror charges had seriously strained relations between the countries.
The previous conference was also held at the Trump Hotel D.C.
Here are the event’s sponsors—who are ostensibly paying the U.S. president’s hotel to host the conference:
Prosecutors seek info on Trump inauguration events, many of which took place at hotel
From “New York prosecutors seek records from Trump inauguration committee: Sources” by John Santucci, Josh Margolin, and Matthew Mosk for ABC News:
Prosecutors in New York’s Southern District have subpoenaed documents from President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee, sources with direct knowledge told ABC News, indicating that even as the special counsel probe appears to be nearing an end, another investigation that could hamstring the president and his lawyers is widening.
The subpoena from the Southern District, which came from its public corruption section, is the latest activity focusing on Trump’s political fundraising both before and immediately after the 2016 election…
Prosecutors also are seeking information on attendees to the events surrounding the inauguration, including benefits to top-level donors such as photo opportunities with Trump, sources said.
Several inauguration events took place at the Trump Hotel D.C, which received $1.5 million from its owner’s inauguration committee. The subpoena “indicates that prosecutors are investigating crimes related to conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering,” according to Rosalind S. Helderman and Michael Kranish of The Washington Post.
GOP congressmen join Trump’s DOJ attorneys in criticizing GSA IG’s report on hotel’s lease
From “Congressional Republicans question report critical of Trump hotel lease” by Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
Leading congressional Republicans demanded Monday that an internal government watchdog who had issued a critical report related to President Trump’s luxury hotel in the District produce reams of documents to support her conclusions.
The letter, to the General Services Administration’s inspector general, was a clear signal that Trump’s allies in Congress plan to aggressively defend his business dealings as his company comes under increasing scrutiny by House Democrats and others.
The letter was penned by Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee.
Also signed by Rep. Sam Graves (R–MO) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R–NC), the lawmakers’ letter comes less than a week after Department of Justice attorneys representing President Trump in an emoluments suit brought by 196 Democratic Senators and Congressman sought to discredit the IG’s report.
In that case, on Jan. 30, the plaintiffs’ filed a notice of supplemental authority, notifying the court of the GSA inspector general’s report. 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, in part, because the IG has “no apparent expertise in interpreting or applying the Foreign Emoluments Clause.”
Given the rarity with which emoluments cases have been argued in the U.S. courts prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration, however, it seems unlikely that any U.S. attorney has practical experience with that clause.
All four of the letter’s signers, by the way, have either headlined events or spent campaign funds at the Trump Hotel D.C.:
Sen. Johnson keynoted a conference of vapor lobbyists in 2017
Rep. Jordan’s campaign spent more than $9,000
Rep. Meadows’s campaign spent more than $2,700
Rep. Graves’s campaign spent $100
Watchdog sues GSA and Park Service for info related to Old Post Office tower’s reopening
This morning, government watchdog American Oversight sued the General Services Administration and the National Park Service to comply with its FOIA request for information regarding the re-opening of the Old Post Office tower during the government shutdown. Tours at the tower, which co-locates with the hotel, are funded by GSA and staffed by the Park Service via an interagency agreement.
Here’s what we already know about that decision-making process, from “A shutdown-era visit to Park Service ops at Trump’s D.C. hotel” by Charles S. Clark for Government Executive:
GSA closed the tower at the start of the shutdown.
Several days later, it realized that it did not need to do so because “balances within the Federal Buildings Fund remain available to operate federal facilities, as needed, until they are expended, notwithstanding a lapse in appropriations.”
Except—GSA’s statement also said, “In this process, it was discovered that the interagency agreement required by the 1983 law had expired earlier in the year. GSA and NPS subsequently renewed the interagency agreement, and NPS resumed operation of the tower as required by law.”
So clearly a decision was made during the shutdown to renew the agreement that kept the tower tours operational.
Blaze TV’s Glen Beck checked into the Trump Hotel D.C. and declared it the best of the many Trump Hotels he’s visited. Beck was invited to attend SOTU as a guest of Rep. Thomas Massie (R–KY).
“Leader in the Republican party in the U.S. and Pakistani-American Asad Chaudry addressed a Republican party event hosted by an organization, Virginia Women for Trump, at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C,” reported the 24-hour Pakistani English-language news channel PTV World in a 39-second segment. But—
While Chaudry’s Twitter profile says he’s the “Chairman,Fairfax County Republican Committee of Community engagement 4 Pak-American Community,” the Fairfax County (Virginia) Republican Committee’s website does not list him in its leadership.
Virginia Women for Trump is an LLC an not affiliated with the president’s campaign or the GOP.
Chaudry reportedly discussed how to engage the Pakistani community in American politics. [Due to a formatting limitation, please select the link to watch the video.]
Fox News radio’s Todd Starnes was back at the Trump Hotel for SOTU. It’s his “home away from home.”
Other Trump Organization news
“Purge of undocumented workers by the president’s company spreads to at least 5 Trump golf courses” by Joshua Partlow and David A. Fahrenthold for The Washington Post
“Trump scrutinized by Democrats, watchdogs as he returns to Mar-a-Lago club” by Benjamin Siegel for ABC News
“The plan to keep Trump’s taxes hidden” by Nancy Cook for Politico
House investigations, current status (latest change, Feb. 1, 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 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—Sent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank on Jan. 24.
Oversight and Reform—Chair 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, chaired by Rep. John Lewis (D–GA), is holding a hearing on “legislative proposals and tax law related to presidential and vice-presidential tax returns” on Feb. 7.
Legal cases, current status (latest change, Feb. 4, 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 38 subpoenas, including to the Trump Organization; 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.
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!)
“After Meghan Daum’s marriage falls apart she meets some new friends on YouTube. Also, reporter Paris Martineau tells us about a new game changing online harassment tool: the thotbot.” Listen to the latest Theory of Everything podcast.
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.