Committee Uncovers Evidence that Trump Concealed Millions in Losses, Hid Debts, and Received Millions from Foreign Governments at Trump Hotel
Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, sent a letter to the General Services Administration (GSA) detailing new concerns about former President Trump’s lease for the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., his failure to disclose significant losses and debts in public filings and lease documents, and his conflicts of interest as President. The Committee’s discoveries were based on documents recently obtained from GSA.
“The documents provided by GSA raise new and troubling questions about former President Trump’s lease with GSA and the agency’s ability to manage the former President’s conflicts of interest during his term in office when he was effectively on both sides of the contract, as landlord and tenant,” the Chairs wrote.
“Specifically, the Committee found that President Trump provided misleading information about the financial situation of the Trump Hotel in his annual financial disclosures; received undisclosed preferential treatment from a foreign bank on a $170 million loan to the hotel that the President personally guaranteed; accepted millions of dollars in emoluments from foreign governments without providing an accounting of the money’s source or purpose; concealed hundreds of millions of dollars in debts from GSA when bidding on the Old Post Office Building lease; and made it impossible for GSA to properly enforce the lease’s conflict-of-interest restrictions by engaging in opaque transactions with other affiliated entities. As discussed in this letter, this new evidence raises many questions that require further investigation and action by the Committee.”
Despite the precedent set by every modern American president, during his term in office, President Trump retained his financial interest in his various business entities, including the Trump Hotel. The hotel opened to the public in September 2016, just weeks after Mr. Trump accepted the Republican nomination for President. Throughout President Trump’s term, there were numerous reports about foreign and domestic interests patronizing the Trump Hotel as a way to curry favor with the President.
For more than five years, the Committee has been investigating conflicts of interest related to GSA’s management of the Trump Hotel’s lease. Under the Trump Administration, GSA failed to substantially comply with the Committee’s requests. On July 9, 2021, GSA finally produced a subset of requested documents, including the Trump Hotel’s audited financial statements for the years 2014 through 2020, three-years’ worth of President Trump’s statements of financial condition that were submitted to GSA to win the federal lease, and communications between President Trump’s businesses and GSA regarding the lease.
These documents show:
- Former President Trump Reported Massive Revenues at the Trump Hotel, Concealing that the Hotel Suffered $70 Million in Net Losses. On his federally mandated financial disclosures, President Trump reported that the Trump Hotel earned him over $150 million in revenue during his time in office. However, the records obtained by the Committee show that the Trump Hotel actually incurred net losses of over $70 million, leading the former President’s holding company to inject at least $24 million to aid the struggling hotel. By filing these misleading public disclosures, President Trump grossly exaggerated the financial health of the Trump Hotel. He also appears to have concealed potential conflicts of interest stemming not just from his ownership of this failing business but also from his roles as the hotel’s lender and the guarantor of its third-party loans.
- While in Office, President Trump Received Preferential Treatment Potentially Worth Millions from a Foreign Bank. The documents show that in 2018, Deutsche Bank provided President Trump with a significant financial benefit by allowing him to delay making principal payments on the Trump Hotel’s $170 million loan—which Trump had personally guaranteed—for a period of six years. Without this deferral, the hotel may have needed to pay tens of millions of additional dollars to Deutsche Bank at a time when it was already facing steep losses. Mr. Trump did not publicly disclose this significant benefit from a foreign bank while he was President.
- The Trump Hotel Received Over $3.7 Million from Foreign Governments. Based on the Committee’s analysis, from 2017 through 2020, the Trump Hotel received an estimated $3.7 million in payments from foreign governments, raising concerns about possible violations of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause. This amount would have been sufficient to cover over 7,400 nights at the Trump Hotel at the average daily rate. Former President Trump failed to disclose details about these payments to GSA, and he “donated” to the Treasury only the small portion of these payments that his company determined to be profits.
- Former President Trump Concealed Debts When Bidding on Old Post Office Building Lease. In 2011, when he applied to lease the Old Post Office Building, former President Trump provided GSA with financial information that appeared to conceal certain debts. Specifically, he provided a 2008 financial statement that reported over $1.1 billion in outstanding loan balances for properties in Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, and San Francisco. Although these loans remained outstanding in 2009 and 2010, President Trump omitted them from his financial statements for those years, hiding key information.
- The Trump Hotel Moved Around Millions of Dollars in Opaque Transactions with Other Trump Businesses. President Trump transferred millions of dollars in and out of his D.C. Hotel through affiliated entities and opaque transactions, raising questions about GSA’s ability to enforce provisions that prohibited President Trump from taking money out of the business.
In light of these troubling new revelations, Chairwoman Maloney and Chairman Connolly highlighted the need for further investigation and legislative reform.
The Chairs also requested that GSA provide additional documents, including documents related to the Trump Hotel’s loan from Deutsche Bank, due diligence performed by GSA on the financial records it received from President Trump, foreign government payments to the Trump Hotel, and loans by Trump or his businesses to the Trump Hotel.
The Committee is continuing to seek relevant documents.
Click here to read the Committee’s October 8, 2021, letter to GSA.
To read the documents released by the Committee, click here for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.