Oversight chairman seeking copy of Trump hotel lease

Oversight chairman seeking copy of Trump hotel lease
© Greg Nash

PHILADELPHIA — House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE (R-Utah) said Wednesday he’s requested the federal government’s contract with Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE’s Washington, D.C., hotel as questions swirl about whether the new president is violating the lease agreement.

The new luxury Trump International Hotel, just blocks from the White House, occupies the historic Old Post Office building, which is owned by the federal government. Trump’s contract with the General Services Administration prohibits elected officials from being a party to the lease or benefitting from it.

“I did request from the GSA the full, unredacted contract,” Chaffetz told reporters at the joint House and Senate GOP retreat. “I requested that the first part of December. I still don’t have it. It will be interesting to see what they produce and what their take on that is. But I don’t have that yet.”

Democrats have called on the GSA to clarify whether Trump has violated the terms of his lease agreement, but so far agency officials have not publicly weighed in.

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Chaffetz’s request is significant given his reluctance to investigate Trump and his new Republican administration. Instead, he has continued to badger Trump’s vanquished rival, Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCarville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race What's behind Trump's slump? Americans are exhausted, for one thing Trump campaign reserves air time in New Mexico MORE, repeating several times since Election Day that he’ll continue to investigate the former secretary of State’s private email server.

Chaffetz shook Clinton’s hand on Inauguration Day Friday but then posted the photo on social media with the caption: "So pleased she is not the President. The investigation continues."

During a gaggle with reporters Wednesday, Chaffetz also said his committee has no plans to investigate Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of rampant voter fraud during the 2016 election.

“I don’t see any evidence, but the president has 100,000 people at the Department of Justice, so if he wants to do an investigation, have at it,” Chaffetz said. “I just don’t see any evidence of it. …

“I’m not planning on spending resources looking at that. … It’s not something we’re pursuing.”