President-elect Donald Trump would be in violation of the lease on his new Washington, D.C., hotel once he takes office in January because of language forbidding elected government officials from being party to the deal, according to a report published this week.
The contract language in the lease says that “No … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom,” according to the article in Government Executive.
The Trump International Hotel in D.C. was fashioned out of the Old Post Office building, and so the lease runs through the federal government’s General Services Administration (GSA).
The article says the clause is intended to avoid conflicts of interest and is consistent with a prohibition on federal employees entering into such contracts.
It was written by Steven L. Schooner and Daniel I. Gordon, who are involved with government procurement law at the George Washington University Law School.
“That is not something that has been raised with me or so to my knowledge at this point. But we will check with the general counsel and get back to you on that,” Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Trump transition team, said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
A GSA spokesperson said the Office of Government Ethics provides guidance to the executive branch on questions related to conflicts of interest and that the GSA plans to coordinate with Mr. Trump’s team to address any issues that might be related to the property.
Mr. Trump had said during the campaign that having the property, which is located mere blocks from the White House, would enable him to get to Pennsylvania Avenue one way or another.