At least seven foreign governments reportedly rented space in Trump World Tower in New York in 2017 without congressional approval.
The rentals took place in the months following President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE’s inauguration, according to Reuters, which cited documents and people familiar with the leases. Staffers on Capitol Hill told the news service that the lease requests were never submitted to Congress.
The leases, involving the governments of Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Thailand and the European Union, were approved by the State Department, according to Reuters.
“Letting this go without Congress knowing about it condones the creation of a second, opaque track of foreign policy,” Harold Hongju Koh, a professor at Yale Law School and former legal adviser at the State Department, told Reuters. “What it might lead to is a group of countries enriching the people in power on the mistaken belief that it’s going to improve their access.”
“This new information raises serious questions about the President and his businesses’ potential receipt of payments from foreign governments,” House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik suing Candace Owens for defamation Former Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (D-Md.) said in a statement to the news service. “The American public deserves full transparency.”
A spokesman for the State Department said the law requires it to review the leases for national security purposes.
On Tuesday, a federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit from more than 200 Democratic senators and members of Congress alleging Trump violated the clause. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled the Trump team’s interpretation of the clause disregarded the “ordinary meaning” of emoluments.