Jim Jordan to headline PAC fundraiser at Trump Hotel Chicago

Jordan’s appearance will benefit Family–PAC Federal—and the Trump Hotel Chicago

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) will headline a fundraiser at the Trump Hotel Chicago for the conservative Family–PAC Federal in April, according to a conservative political consultant.

This event will be the latest way the ranking member of the House Oversight committee has helped the president’s hotel business.

Jordan’s campaign has spent at least $10,572.29 at the Trump Hotel D.C. in the past 10 months. And in February, he co-authored a letter to the GSA, criticizing its inspector general’s report that questioned the legality of the hotel’s lease. (Last week, the pro-Trump nonprofit America First Policies announced it was launching TV ads in support of Jordan.) Jordan’s spokesperson has not replied to a request for comment.

Tickets to the April 8 fundraiser range from $150 for an individual to $2,500, with funds being used to cover the expenses for food and the hotel, per a text exchange with Jon Zahm who promoted the event on Twitter. Zahm is the president of Goliath Slayer Communications, a political and non-profit consultancy. Photos with Jordan also can be arranged Zahm wrote.

Family–PAC Federal already has spent at least $5,774.42 at Trump properties, per its FEC filings. In the last campaign cycle, it donated $9,500 to Mark Harris—one of its biggest outlays. Harris, a Republican candidate for Congress in North Carolina, of course, almost won his race before it was revealed that his campaign had was allegedly involved in a fraudulent voter-turnout scheme.


Life insurance executives to hold gala in presidential ballroom

The National Life Insurance Council, a volunteer fundraising group associated with Southern California’s City of Hope Medical Center, is holding a black-tie-optional gala at the Trump Hotel D.C. on April 27.

According to the event’s website, “the portion of the registration/sponsorship fee which is non tax-deductible is $227/seat and $2,270/table”—which provides a rough per-person estimate for how much the president’s company is charging for this function. Individual tickets are $1,000, while the threshold for the top sponsorship option is $50,000.

The National Life Insurance Council has booked both the presidential ballroom and the hotel’s Franklin study. The hotel is also offering guests a discounted room rate of $365 for the night of the event.

“A number of executives and top producers from the life insurance industry” comprise the National Life Insurance Council. A spokesperson for the group did not immediately respond to an inquiry about why it chose to host the event at the Trump Hotel D.C. and how much it was paying.


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Trump Store changes picture of soap to no longer show the White House

A picture of the Trump Store’s soap set, from the March 21 issue of 1100 Pennsylvania:

A photo of that same soap set, as it appears on the Trump Store website today [h/t Twitter user @corene_lacina]:

Now instead of showing the White House underneath “Trump Hotels,” the Trump Store just depicts the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol.


Noteworthy sightings

Trump Hotel D.C. regulars Rudy Giuliani, who’s the president’s personal attorney, and Harlan Hill, a Fox News pundit and Trump campaign advisor, shared a laugh.

Photos with the Giuliani, by the way, continue to be an unofficial hotel amenity.

Catalina Lauf, a special advisor at the Department of Commerce, was all smiles with University of California-Berkeley student Hayden Williams, who allegedly was assaulted while recruiting students to join Turning Point USA


Other Trump Organization news


House investigations, current status (latest changes, March 26, 2019)

  • Financial ServicesSent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank on Jan. 24. On March 1, chair Rep. Maxine Waters (D–CA) said the bank is cooperating with her committee and that staffers from the panel have met with bank employees in New York.

  • Foreign Affairs—Chair Rep. Elliot Engel (D–NY) “plans to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s businesses are driving foreign policy decisions, including whether Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution in the process” per CNN on Jan. 23.

  • Judiciary—On March 4, the committee “served document requests to 81 agencies, entities, and individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation,” according to a statement by the panel. Among the individuals the committee requested documents from are Trump Organization EVP Donald Trump Jr.; EVP Eric Trump; EVP and COO Michael Calamari; CFO Alan Weisselberg; EVP and chief legal officer Alan Garten; Trump tax attorney Sherri Dillon; longtime Trump executive assistant Rhona Graff; former Trump advisor Felix Sater; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; and Trump associate and inaugural chair, Tom Barrack. The committee received “tens of thousands” of documents by the March 18 deadline the letters set for responses, according to its chair, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D–NY). Among the respondents: Barrack, Steve Bannon, and the National Rifle Association. But current White House staffers, as well as some former ones have not replied yet. And GOP committee staffers said the panel only received eight replies by the deadline. Attorneys for the Trump Organization, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump did not respond to Politico’s inquires if their clients planned to reply. The committee is considering making additional document requests, including to Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. The committee interviewed Felix Sater on March 21.

  • UPDATED Intelligence—On Feb. 6, chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D–CA) issued a statement that said his committee would investigate links or coordination between the Russian government/related foreign actors and individuals associated with Trump’s businesses, as well as if foreign actors sought to compromise or hold leverage over Trump’s businesses. On Feb. 10, Schiff said the committee would investigate Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, a major lender to the Trump Organization. Earlier, on Jan. 24, the committee sent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank. On Feb. 28, an aide said the panel expects to interview Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg. During testimony on March 6, Michael Cohen turned over documents that allegedly show how Trump’s then-personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, edited Cohen’s statement regarding Trump Tower Moscow. Cohen later read this revised statement before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Felix Sater, who was connected to the Trump Moscow project, was scheduled to testify in an open hearing on March 27, but that has been postponed. Schiff hired a veteran prosecutor experienced with combating Russian organized crime to lead this investigation.

  • Oversight and Reform—Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings’s (D–MD) staff “has already sent out 51 letters to government officials, the White House, and the Trump Organization asking for documents related to investigations that the committee may launch,” on Jan. 13. In a Feb. 15 letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Cummings said the committee received documents showing White House attorney Stefan Passantino and long-time Trump personal attorney Sheri Dillon provided “false information” to the Office of Government Ethics regarding Michael Cohen’s “hush-money payments.” As a result, Cummings wants to depose Passantino and Dillon; the White House, however, rejected Cummings’ request to interview Passantino. And on Feb. 27, Cohen testified to the committee about those payments and other Trump Organization business practices, which could lead to the committee requesting the president’s tax returns and allegations of possible insurance fraud. The next day, House Democrats signaled they would seek testimony from Trump Organization officials whom Cohen alleged were implicated, including Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and CFO Allen Weisselberg. On March 6, Cummings requested information from the GSA about its reversal of an earlier decision to relocate FBI headquarters, which is located across the street from the Trump Hotel D.C.

  • Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management—Transportation committee chair Rep. Peter DeFazio (D–OR) and subcommittee chair Dina Titus (D–NV) sent a letter to GSA administrator Emily Murphy on Jan. 22 asking for all communication between the GSA and members of the Trump family dating back to 2015, an explanation of how the D.C. hotel calculates its profits, profit statements since the hotel opened, any guidance from the White House regarding the lease, and whether or not Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are recused from participating in decisions regarding the property. GSA has “sent a partial response and the subcommittee is reviewing it,” according to a senior House staffer familiar with the situation. When hearings begin, it is likely that Murphy will be the first person called to testify, according to a person familiar with the subcommittee’s plans. Titus is hiring additional staffers to handle the investigation. On March 6, Titus requested information from the GSA about its reversal of an earlier decision to relocate the FBI headquarters, which is located across the street from the Trump Hotel D.C. NPR reported on March 15 that, “Democrats on the committee want to know, among other things, whether there was any political pressure exerted on the GSA by the Trump White House, presidential campaign or transition team. They also want to know how the Trump Hotel calculates its profits, segregates incoming money from foreign governments, and what the Trump Organization owes the GSA on a monthly or annual basis.’”

  • Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight—The subcommittee held its first hearing on “legislative proposals and tax law related to presidential and vice-presidential tax returns” on Feb. 7. “We will ask the question: Does the public have a need to know that a person seeking the highest office in our country obeys tax law?” said chair Rep. John Lewis (D–GA). Experts in tax law testified.


Legal cases, current status (latest change, March 20, 2019)


Health inspections, current status (latest change, Aug. 10, 2018)

  • ❌Hotel: five violations on May 7, 2018; two were corrected on site

  • ❌BLT Prime and Benjamin Bar: nine violations on Aug. 10, 2018

  • ❌Sushi Nakazawa: two violations on Aug. 10, 2018

  • ✔️Banquet kitchen: no violations on Aug. 10, 2018

  • ❌Pastry kitchen: two violations on Aug. 10, 2018

  • ✔️Gift shop: no violations on May 7, 2018

  • ❌Employee kitchen and in-room dining: five violations on Aug. 10, 2018; two were corrected on site


Is the Trump Organization selling merchandise that depicts the White House? (latest change, March 21, 2019)

Yes.


One thing that (probably) has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses

Rick Steves wants to save the world, one vacation at a time” by Sam Anderson for The New York Times


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