The Trump Organization has put one of its marquee hotels on sale. Eric Trump, the president's son, said the group has hired real estate firm JLL to manage the sale of the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The hotel, which was opened three years ago, sits on the prime real estate on Pennsylvania Avenue, between the White House and Capitol building.
Why is Trump Organization selling it?
The hotel has been a source of controversy and a subject of alleged conflict of interest. The property is built on federal government-owned Old Post Office building. There have been allegations that the president is profiting from the hotel by virtue of his position as the President.
In May this year, the president disclosed that he made more than $80 million from this property since taking office. As per this disclosure, the Trump International in Washington fetched the president more revenue than some of his prized properties like his storied Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and the Turnberry golf course in Scotland.
The Trump International was opened in 2016 in a property leased from the federal government. Trump critics says that he violated the Constitution's emolument clause by being the landlord and the tenant at the same time. The fact that Trump is the president has obviously helped the hotel win business on a scale and higher than rivalling properties in the area.
Eric Trump apparently admits to this fact in his statement. "People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel and therefore we may be willing to sell," Eric Trump said in a statement, according to CNN. Trump has not put a price tag on the hotel yet.
"The American people have a right to know whether the President of the United States, who is serving as both the landlord and tenant of the Old Post Office Building, is violating the Emoluments Clauses of the US Constitution to enrich himself," the House Transportation Committee chairman, Peter DeFazio, said last week. The committee has also issued a subpoena for documents relating to the hotel lease from the General Services Administration.
Donald Trump had resigned from his companies before taking charge as president, but also transferred his assets to a trust. But yet, critics say he stands to benefit financially from his sprawling businesses.