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Inspector General Finds That G.S.A. Officials Purposefully “Decided to Ignore” the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause When They Ruled That Trump Needn’t Divest Interest in D.C. Hotel; New Review Recommended

[Link to full report](https://www.gsaig.gov/sites/default/files/ipa-reports/JE19-002%20OIG%20EVALUATION%20REPORT-GSA%27s%20Management%20%26%20Administration%20of%20OPO%20Building%20Lease_January%2016%202019_Redacted.pdf) (47-page PDF)

>We found that GSA recognized that the President’s business interest in the OPO lease raised issues under the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses that might cause a breach of the lease; however, GSA decided not to address those issues in connection with the management of the lease. We also found that the decision to exclude the emoluments issues from GSA’s consideration of the lease was improper because GSA, like all government agencies, has an obligation to uphold and enforce the Constitution; and because the lease, itself, requires that consideration. In addition, we found that GSA’s unwillingness to address the constitutional issues affected its analysis of Section 37.19 of the lease that led to GSA’s conclusion that Tenant’s business structure satisfied the terms and conditions of the lease. As a result, GSA foreclosed an early resolution of these issues, including a possible solution satisfactory to all parties; and the uncertainty over the lease remains unresolved.

**GSA Agrees With Recommendations:**

From the [AP article](https://www.apnews.com/31cdc0d054b542a9bcb02a25604a438d):

>The inspector general did not recommend canceling the lease but urged a formal legal review. The watchdog said GSA agreed with its recommendation.

**News Coverage:**

* [General Services Administration ‘ignored’ constitutional concerns by allowing Trump to keep his D.C. hotel lease, watchdog says](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2019/01/16/general-services-administration-ignored-constitutional-concerns-by-allowing-trump-to-keep-his-d-c-hotel-lease-watchdog-says/) (WaPo)

* [Watchdog: GSA ignored emoluments in OKing Trump hotel lease](https://www.apnews.com/31cdc0d054b542a9bcb02a25604a438d) (AP)

* [Federal Watchdog Finds Government Ignored Emoluments Clause With Trump Hotel](https://www.npr.org/2019/01/16/685977471/federal-watchdog-finds-government-ignored-emoluments-clause-with-trump-hotel) (NPR)

* [U.S. watchdog cites constitutional concerns over Trump hotel lease](https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-hotel/us-watchdog-cites-constitutional-concerns-over-trump-hotel-lease-idUSKCN1PA2WU) (Reuters)

* [Federal agency ignored constitutional concerns in Trump hotel lease, report finds](https://www.cbsnews.com/news/federal-agency-ignored-constitutional-concerns-in-trump-hotel-lease-report-finds/) (CBS)

* [IG report rips gov’t for punting on possible Trump emoluments violation tied to his DC hotel](https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/ig-report-rips-gov-t-punting-possible-trump-emoluments-violation-n959531?cid=public-rss_20190116) (NBC)

* [Watchdog: GSA ignored Constitution on Trump D.C. hotel lease](https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/16/watchdog-gsa-ignored-emoluments-trump-hotel-lease-1106581) (Politico)

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