- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Citing a New York City Department of Buildings official, CNN reported Wednesday afternoon that New York City officials are investigating whether the atrium to Donald Trump’s iconic Trump Tower high rise was “improperly closed to the public” during at least one recent campaign event.

Department spokesman Joe Soldevere “said the probe was sparked by Tuesday’s press conference at Trump Tower,” the cable network reported on their website.

CNN noted that as a result of an agreement with the city in 1979, the atrium for Mr. Trump’s 68-story 5th Avenue skyscraper must “be accessible and kept open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.”

Mr. Trump may close the atrium to the public with prior approval from the city — but he can do it only four times per year.

According to Mr. Soldevere, however, the city “received no such requests” for yesterday’s presser. For its part, the Trump campaign has not replied to a request from CNN for comment.

“The city’s planning and buildings departments told The Associated Press they could find no record in the past two years of Trump Organization officials seeking prior authorization to use the space for a private event,” the news wire reported earlier Wednesday.

“This isn’t the first time city officials have confronted Trump over use of the public atrium,” the AP noted. “He was fined $4,000 in 2015 and $2,500 in 2006 for installing kiosks selling merchandise in the space.”

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