According to the findings of an investigation that were made public on Monday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, China, and Malaysia spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Trump International Hotel in Washington while they were attempting to influence U.S. foreign policy. (Saudi Arabia Qatar and Other Foreign)
The Oversight Committee was able to obtain hotel receipts and discovered that the then-prime minister of Malaysia and his delegation spent $259,724 at the hotel during a one-week stay in September 2017. These expenses included a $10,000 room, a $1,500 “Personal Trainer” for troubled Prime Minister Najib Razak, and $9,229 for “Coffee Break[s].”At the time, Razak tried to convince the Trump administration to drop an investigation into a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund that he had co-founded, but he was unsuccessful.
According to the findings of the Oversight Committee, the Saudi Defense Ministry spent $85,961 during a one-week stay in March 2018, which included renting several suites for $10,500.The Trump hotel’s Saudi revenues came at a time when Saudi Arabia was pleading with the Trump administration to support them in their blockade of Qatar, their economic rival.
The Oversight Committee found that Qatari officials and associated businesses spent at least $307,941 at the Trump hotel between late 2017 and mid-2018. (Saudi Arabia Qatar and Other Foreign)
The committee’s “findings are inaccurate” and the individuals named as hotel guests are “private citizens,” according to the Qatari government. The committee stated that they bear the ruling family’s last name.
Secret Service was charged more than five times the OCT rate recommended by the government by Trump hotels.17, 202204:04 As part of the Oversight Committee’s investigation into the former president’s businesses and potential conflicts of interest, the former accounting firm for the Trump Organization, Mazars USA, gave the hotel ledgers to the committee. Line-item charges for rooms, room service, laundry, restaurant meals, and banquets from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2018 are shown in the majority of the ledgers released on Monday.
In a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration’s acting archivist, Debra Steidel Wall, the committee’s chair, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., outlined the new findings. (Saudi Arabia Qatar and Other Foreign)
According to Maloney, “These documents sharply call into question the extent to which President Trump was guided by his personal financial interest while in office rather than the best interests of the American people.” Maloney said that the documents cast doubt on that.
In the letter, she asks the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for presidential records that may be associated with foreign governments’ and lobbyists’ efforts to influence the Trump administration by spending money at the Trump hotel.” We are in receipt of the letter and will respond in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” stated a NARA spokesperson.
Trump gave over everyday control of the Washington inn to his two oldest children during his administration. Eric Trump issued a statement, which read: We went to great lengths as a company to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, not because of any legal requirement but because we respect the presidency. We have voluntarily donated all profits from foreign government patronage at our properties back to the United States Treasury on an annual basis, engaged an outside ethics advisor to review any significant transactions, halted all international expansion, and walked away from new deals worth billions of dollars. In addition, my father is the first president in American history to return his annual salary to the government. No president has ever sacrificed more financially for the country’s good. (Saudi Arabia Qatar and Other Foreign)
The Oversight Committee discovered that Malaysian spending at the Trump hotel was the highest in a single week to date. The Justice Department was looking into whether or not the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, stole billions of dollars and used them to buy exclusive properties in the United States, including a yacht and works of art by Monet and van Gogh.
Last year, the Justice Department completed its civil forfeiture and paid back hundreds of millions of dollars to the people of Malaysia. In August of this year, a Malaysian court ordered Razak to begin serving a 12-year prison sentence for his actions related to 1MDB after he was voted out of office in 2018.The Malaysian Embassy’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.