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Majority of voters say federal officials staying at Trump hotels is a conflict of interest

A majority of voters say that they think government employees staying at Trump hotels while on trips funded by taxpayers is a conflict of interest, according to a Hill-HarrisX poll released on Tuesday.

The survey showed 63 percent of registered voters believe federal employees staying at Trump-owned properties represents a conflict of interest, compared to 37 percent who say they don't see an issue with it.

Voters were divided along party lines.

Eighty-two percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents said they believe there is a conflict of interest, while 41 percent of Republicans agreed.

The survey comes less than two weeks after House Democrats launched an investigation into Vice President Mike Pence for possibly violating the Constitution's Emoluments Clause when he stayed at a Trump golf club during a trip to Ireland.

Lawmakers are also investigating whether Trump's proposal to host the 2020 Group of Seven (G-7) summit at the Trump National Doral Miami would violate the Emoluments Clause, which bars the president from accepting gifts or other benefits from foreign and domestic governments without congressional approval.

Chairmen Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees each issued a series of letters to the Pence, the White House, the U.S. Secret Serve, and the Trump organization asking about Pence's trip to the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg.

"Potential violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution are of grave concern to the Committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment," the two chairmen said in a joint statement.

Democrats have given the White House a Sept. 19 deadline to respond with the documents.

The House Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, on Tuesday conducted its first impeachment hearing, featuring former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski

Lewandowski defended the president throughout his testimony over special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

"Sadly, the country spent over three years and 40 million taxpayer dollars on these investigations," he said in his opening statement. "It is now clear the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda - to try and take down a duly elected president of the United States."

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted among 1,003 registered voters between Sept. 13-14 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. 

- Tess Bonn