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Washington, D.C. (February 17, 2022)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, sent a letter to the General Services Administration (GSA) urging the agency to consider terminating the Old Post Office Building lease held by President Trump and the Trump Organization. The letter comes on the heels of the announcement by Mazars USA LLP—the longtime auditor for the Trump Hotel—that it is severing ties with the Trump Organization and its admission that ten years’ worth of financial statements prepared for former President Trump are unreliable.
“As part of his bid to win the Old Post Office Building lease, former President Trump submitted three years’ worth of Statements of Financial Condition, all compiled by Mazars, to GSA. As the Committee previously explained, those statements appear to be ‘incomplete, misleading, and in violation of the express terms of the solicitation’ given significant omissions in former President Trump’s listed assets and liabilities. Although the financial statements that former President Trump submitted to GSA preceded the ten years of statements that Mazars has now retracted, the earlier statements submitted to GSA contain potential misrepresentations about former President Trump’s assets that are similar to those identified by state investigators,” wrote the Chairs.
“In light of these new revelations, including further evidence that the former President submitted at least one financial statement with possible material misrepresentations to GSA, we request that you consider terminating the Old Post Office Building lease to former President Trump and the Trump Organization under the authority provided in Article 27 of the lease, and end, once-and-for-all, the grave damage this inappropriate lease has done to presidential ethics and integrity in government contracting.”
Today’s letter also contains new information from the Committee’s investigation showing former President’s Trump’s efforts to limit access to information about his financial affairs. On October 8, 2021, the Committee requested GSA provide additional documents and information related to the Committee’s investigation into former President Trump’s conflicts of interest in connection with the Old Post Office Building lease. In response, the Committee obtained portions of an August 12, 2014, agreement between Deutsche Bank and the Trump Organization for a $170 million loan to finance the construction of the Trump Hotel.
In order to obtain the loan, it appears that Deutsche Bank required former President Trump, in his capacity as guarantor, to provide both a Statement of Financial Condition prepared as of June 30, 2013, and the first two pages of recently filed tax returns. However, Deutsche Bank apparently agreed that “the first two (2) pages of the recent filed tax returns and his liquidity statements may only be reviewed at the offices of Guarantor in New York, New York, but Lender may not make any copies of such tax return pages or take same with them.” Former President Trump’s 2013 Statement of Financial Condition is among the statements that Mazars recently disavowed.
In their letter, the Chairs also raised new concerns on the planned sale of the Trump Hotel to Miami-based CGI Merchant Group, whose investors have not been fully publicly disclosed, for $375 million, which is reportedly $100 million over market value. If approved by GSA, the sale would yield a profit of approximately $100 million to the Trump Organization. The Committee recently expressed concern that, under the terms of the lease, GSA’s review of the sale may be limited.
In light of these troubling new revelations, Chairwoman Maloney and Chairman Connolly are urging GSA to consider exercising its authority to terminate the Old Post Office Building lease to President Trump and the Trump Organization.
Click here to read the Committee’s letter to GSA.