Welcome to 1100 Pennsylvania, a newsletter devoted to President Donald Trump’s Trump Hotel International 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. If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.
Turning Point USA honors Limbaugh at $2,500-a-person Mar-a-Lago gala
While the government shutdown kept President Trump from celebrating Christmas at his private Florida club (although it was no deterrent for White House advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump), conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA was at Mar-a-Lago Dec. 20 for its first annual [sic] winter gala.
Speakers included Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk and Candace Owen, and Rush Limbaugh, who was honored with a lifetime achievement award. Tickets started at $2,500.
Other notable attendees included incoming Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R–TX) (who’s also dined at Trump’s D.C. hotel since being elected last month); Fox News’s Jesse Watters and Gina Loudon; GOP donor Foster Friess; and former Bangladeshi politician later found guilty of fraud by a U.S. court, Zahid F. Sarder Saddi.
Trump thanks Saudi Arabia, which is also a major Trump Hotels client
One of the president’s many tweets on Dec. 24:
Saudi A also spent almost $270,000 at the Trump Hotel D.C. on 500 rooms in 2017, putting up veterans in town to lobby on its behalf. And “after two years of decline, revenue from room rentals went up 13 percent in the first three months of 2018” at the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan—because Saudi A spent the necessary money.
Trump Hotel D.C. client amasses ‘unrivalled position of power with the federal government’
From “Top Amazon boss privately advised U.S. government on web portal worth billions to tech firm” by Stephanie Kirchgaessner for The Guardian, published today:
But the behind-the-scenes lobbying by Amazon officials underscores how the company has quietly amassed an unrivalled position of power with the federal government.
From “How Trump’s D.C. hotel works to help swamp the drain” by me for Fast Company, published this May:
A month and a half ago, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud computing division, which claims to serve more than 2,000 government agencies, was a silver sponsor of a major conference of government contractors held at the [Trump Hotel D.C.].
Amazon did not reply to my to requests to discuss its motives for cohosting an event at the president’s hotel.
Government shutdown means no tower access
The federal government shutdown means the Old Post Office tower, which sits atop the hotel, is closed.
Former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka shared a holiday message from his former boss’s hotel (the pic likely was taken earlier, as he was sporting the same snappy attire when he plugged his book at the hotel on Dec. 19).
Patrick Realiza is a vice chair at the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area Chapter, which works to “strengthen U.N.-U.S. relations, and aid the U.N. in achieving its goals.” He had a first-class Christmas at the U.S. president’s hotel and tagged the Trump hotel accounts to make sure they knew.
Giancarlo Granda was a pool attendant at a luxury hotel whom Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife befriended and then loaned $1.8 million (as one does). They also introduced him to Donald Trump back in 2012. While an Instagram account appearing to be Granda’s is private, the profile pic shows him at Trump’s D.C. hotel. It’s an interesting choice given that Granda is the managing member of a hostel in Miami. Instead of promoting that venture in his profile photo, he opted to post a shot from the president’s hotel.
Former lobbyist for Home Depot, Kent Knutson; president and managing principal of U.S. government contractor EDC Consulting, Peter Markakos; and lobbyist for Tyson’s Food, Karen Knutson, celebrated Christmas Eve at the U.S. president’s hotel.
Legal cases, current status (latest change, Dec. 24, 2018)
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. Oral augments on the appeal will take place March 19–21. In the meantime, the 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.
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.
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.
Employees’ class-action suit alleging racial discrimination—A status hearing on arbitration is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2019.
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
Other Trump Organization news
“In the fall of 1968, Donald J. Trump received a timely diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels that led to his medical exemption from the military during Vietnam…Now a possible explanation has emerged about the documentation.It involves a foot doctor in Queens who rented his office from Mr. Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump, and a suggestion that the diagnosis was granted as a courtesy to the elder Mr. Trump.” By Steve Eder for The New York Times.
One thing that has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses (I think, tough to tell sometimes!)
Along with cleaning out their offices, several ousted or retiring Senators and Representatives have shuttered their official Twitter accounts (via the Changes of Congress Twitter bot).
Thanks for reading. If you like what you saw, tell someone. If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.