Inspector general: GSA ignored Constitution by letting Trump lease old post office for DC hotel

The inspector general of the General Services Administration (GSA) on Wednesday issued a report that said it finds the agency ignored guidelines spelled out in the U.S. Constitution's Emoluments Clause by allowing President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE to keep the lease on the building used by the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The GSA's inspector general wrote in a report that the agency ignored "issues under the Constitution's Emoluments Clauses that might cause a breach of the lease" while adding that the agency "decided not to address those issues."


"We also found that the decision to exclude the emoluments issues from GSA’s consideration of the lease was improper because GSA, like all government agencies, has an obligation to uphold and enforce the Constitution; and because the lease, itself, requires that consideration," the report continues.

Critics of the Trump administration have maintained for years that the Trump Organization's use of the Old Post Office building to run the Trump International Hotel in Washington presents a conflict of interest for the president, as both foreign officials and organizations friendly to the president's agenda have patronized the business since Trump took office.

Trump did not sell his businesses upon entering the White House in 2017, instead placing his holdings in a trust to be run by his sons. He can revoke that trust at any time.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

The hotel is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit from the state of Maryland and the District of Coumbia in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals alleging that Trump is improperly profiting off the presidency by accepting payments through the hotel. Arguments in the case are scheduled for March.

Updated at 4:35 p.m.