Trump’s D.C. Hotel Lease Under Scrutiny

Questions have arisen over President-elect Donald Trump’s lease for his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., as one law professor who studied the lease agreement said Tuesday it prohibits elected officials from having any role in the deal. Steven Schooner, a law professor and government-procurement expert at George Washington University School of Law, sounded the alarm over the news, telling NPR the lease “specifically says that no elected official of the United States government shall be party to, share in, or benefit from the contract.” The luxury hotel, for which Trump signed a 60-year lease from the federal government, opened in October after a $200 million makeover. The hotel has already spurred concerns about diplomats splashing out money to curry favor with the president, but Schooner’s warning takes those concerns up a notch. According to him, the lease must be terminated before Trump takes office to avoid multiple conflicts of interest. Since the General Services Administration, which holds the contract, is an independent body that is appointed, “the Trump transition team would be naming the person responsible for the agency that’s managing Trump’s lease. Obviously that’s a problem,” Schooner told NPR.