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House committee asks government to end Trump hotel lease before Trump can sell it for $370 million

By Kara Scannell and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

The House Oversight Committee is asking the General Services Administration to consider terminating the lease for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, before the former president’s business can sell it, in light of allegations that the Trump Organization submitted false financial statements to the federal government.

The Democratic-led committee said false statements or certifications may constitute a breach of the lease of the Old Post Office, the historic, government-owned building the Trump Hotel occupies.

The committee request comes as the Trump Organization stands to make a profit of $100 million from the sale of the hotel lease to a Miami-based investment group for $370 million, according to a letter from the panel to the GSA. The agency is reviewing that pending deal.

“No one should be rewarded for providing false or misleading information to the federal government or for seeking to profit off the presidency,” the committee wrote.

Former President Donald Trump obtained the lease for the hotel years before he came into office.

The committee’s letter also comes days after Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars advised that nearly a decade’s worth of the Trump Organization’s financial statements should no longer be relied on and after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed allegations that the business inflated values of certain assets on various financial statements.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and says the investigation is politically motivated.

The committee’s letter makes clear that Trump’s submission of information to the GSA was in 2010, a year earlier than the 10-year set of financial statements Mazars has lost confidence in. But the committee says it has similar concerns to state investigators in New York, who revealed the split between Mazars and the Trump Organization this week. Mazars served as the auditor for the Trump hotel, according to the letter.

“In light of these new revelations, including further evidence that the former President submitted at least one financial statement with possible material misrepresentations to GSA, we request that you consider terminating the Old Post Office Building lease to former President Trump … and end, once-and-for-all, the grave damage this inappropriate lease has done to presidential ethics and integrity in government contracting,” the committee’s letter said.

A spokesperson from the GSA said in response to the House Oversight request on Thursday that the agency will have a thorough “and appropriate” review of the lease transfer for the downtown Washington building.

“GSA has taken, and will continue to take, steps to ensure that the tenant is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease,” a statement provided to CNN said.

This story has been updated with a statement from GSA.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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