Ethics watchdog raises questions about Romanian consulate event Trump's Chicago hotel

A Washington-based ethics group is raising questions about an event a Romanian government official organized at a property owned by President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE last month.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) published an article Thursday noting that the Consulate General of Romania in Chicago celebrated the country’s annual Great Union Day at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in the city late last month.

CREW noted that Romania is the fourth country to celebrate a holiday at a property owned by Trump, joining the Philippines, Kuwait and Bahrain, who have all held events at Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C.

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It is not clear who paid for the event in Chicago, though the Consulate General lists itself as the organizer of the gathering, CREW noted, citing an article on the Consulate General's website.

CREW noted that the consulate did not hold its annual celebration at Trump’s property either of the two previous years, when Trump was running for the White House and his first year in office. 

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Thursday.

Trump has long drawn scrutiny over foreign dignitaries and officials staying at his properties, with questions raised about whether he is benefitting financially from their stay at the properties.

Attorneys General in both Maryland and D.C. have sued Trump alleging that he has violated the Constitution's Emoluments Clause by accepting payments from foreign and state governments through the Trump International Hotel in D.C.

The clause prohibits public officials from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments without approval from Congress. 

Both attorneys general are planning numerous subpoenas in an attempt to prove that Trump has illegally profited from his presidency.

CREW has previously raised questions about whether Trump has violated the Emoluments Clause.

Last year, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit the group filed against Trump over his decision to not fully divest from his businesses. 

In September, CREW submitted another request to investigate whether Trump broke federal law by campaigning during official visits.

The watchdog group said Trump and his aides may have violated the Hatch Act by using government resources to travel and hold campaign events.