Company with ties to Trump's brother awarded $33 million government contract: report

A Virginia-based company with ties to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE's brother has reportedly been awarded a $33 million government contract, according to The Washington Post

The firm CertiPath received the multimillion-dollar contract with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) earlier this year, the Post reported. CertiPath is partially owned by a company tied to the president's brother Robert Trump, according to the newspaper. 

The Post reported Saturday that a rival bidder anonymously filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General following the award, accusing CertiPath of failing to disclose that "one of the President’s closest living relatives stood to benefit financially from the transaction."

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“The circumstances of this contract award, and what appear to be CertiPath’s efforts to obscure Mr. Robert Trump’s financial interest in the company even as it trades on the Trump name, present the appearance of preferential treatment for those who are close to the President,” the complaint reportedly said. 

Jeff Nigriny, the president and founder of CertiPath, told the Post in a statement that Robert Trump “is one investor in an entity which holds a minority interest in Certipath.”

“[Robert Trump] is exclusively a passive investor, has no management role whatsoever, is not an officer or director, and his name has never been used or mentioned by Certipath in any solicitation for a government contract, whether state or federal,” Nigriny added. 

The Post also reported that a company called NMR Consulting complained about the matter to the Government Accountability Office in July.

NMR's bid protest resulted in a “stop work order” on the contract, USMS spokesman Drew Wade told the newspaper.  

“There’s no money being spent with CertiPath until this issue is resolved,” he said. 

The spokesman also said that USMS was not aware of the accusation that a relative of the president had a financial stake in the company. 

Robert Trump's link to CertiPath is through an investment partnership between him and CertiPath’s chief executive, Shawn Hughes, called SHiRT LLC, the Post reported. 
 
CertiPath was reportedly acquired by two entities, one of which was SHiRT LLC, in 2013. 

Questions have been raised about President Trump's family's businesses after the announcement of a now-scrapped plan to hold the Group of Seven summit at a Trump Organization resort. Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, had said the Trumps would not profit from the decision. 
 
Vice President Pence also faced scrutiny earlier this year when he stayed at a Trump property in Doonbeg, Ireland, rather than in Dublin, where he was meeting with Irish officials.