As a partial government shutdown overflows the trash cans on the National Mall, American Oversight is investigating the decision to use federal funding to keep open one attraction: the Old Post Office Tower, which is attached to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
On Thursday, American Oversight submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the General Services Administration (GSA), which owns the tower, and the National Parks Service (NPS), which operates it, for communications with the Trump Organization and records regarding the decision to keep it open. Funding for both the GSA and the NPS has lapsed, and only essential government services can continue under the shutdown.
“Apparently, helping Trump’s business is considered an essential government function,” said Austin Evers, American Oversight’s executive director. “With government offices shuttered across the country and tens of thousands of public servants missing paychecks, keeping the lights on at the Trump Hotel tower during a shutdown stands as a beacon of the president’s corruption.”
According to The Hill, the GSA said that the operation of the tower was part of the Trump Organization’s 2013 lease of the taxpayer-owned Old Post Office building, which mandates that the organization is responsible for the entire site. In March 2017, the GSA ruled that the Trump Organization was in compliance with the terms of the lease, even though those terms prohibit elected officials from being able to profit off the lease — a questionable decision that allows Trump to continue make money off the presidency.
Part of Investigation: