Obama ethics czar: Trump fundraiser at his DC hotel ‘illegal’

The former top White House ethics lawyer from President Obama’s White House accused President Trump on Wednesday of holding an “illegal” fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

Former special ethics counsel Norm Eisen argued in a series of tweets that the reelection fundraiser — Trump’s first since taking office — violates the emoluments clause of the Constitution because it is held at one of the hotels owned by a Trump company.

{mosads}The clause bars the president from receiving any payment or gift from the federal government on top of his salary. 

Trump International Hotel is located in the Old Post Office Building, just blocks away from the White House, and is leased by the Trump Organization from the General Services Administration, the federal agency that essentially acts as the government’s landlord.

Eisen argued that by allowing Trump to hold a fundraising event for his personal reelection campaign at the hotel, he is violating both the emoluments clause and the terms of his real estate company’s lease with the federal government.

Trump’s D.C. hotel has been a source of controversy for the president in the past, particularly over whether foreign officials and dignitaries could patronize the hotel to curry favor in Trump’s White House.