Lawyers for the General Services Administration chose to “ignore” the U.S. Constitution and other legal precedents when they allowed the Trump International Hotel to maintain its lease on the Old Post Office building even after Donald Trump became president, the GSA’s internal watchdog said on Wednesday.
In a 47-page report, the GSA’s inspector general said government lawyers were aware of constitutional restrictions under the emoluments clause, but decided to “exclude” those potential issues from its consideration of whether to maintain the lease after Trump was sworn in.
The GSA leased the historical landmark to Trump in 2013, two years before he kicked off his presidential campaign. But after Trump became president, the IG said, GSA lawyers should have determined whether the arrangement was a violation of the emoluments clauses.
The General Services Administration is an independent federal agency largely responsible for procuring and maintaining federal office spaces and other buildings.