Menendez Requests Trump Emoluments Information from Five Foreign Governments

Menendez Requests Trump Emoluments Information from Five Foreign Governments

   

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today sent letters to the embassies of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, and the Philippines requesting information about their transactions with the Trump Organization for events and visits to its hotel in Washington, D.C.

Senator Menendez’s letters follow one he sent to the Trump Organization on March 1, 2018, requesting information about payments from foreign governments. The Trump Organization’s response to that letter contained extensive legal arguments regarding the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, but little detail regarding the revenues it earned from foreign governments.

“President Trump has refused to completely divest from his business interests or place them in a blind trust, which creates the potential for conflicts of interest that may lead him to put his own financial interests above those of the U.S. government and the American people,” the Senator wrote today. “Our founding fathers had this concern in mind when they wrote Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, which prohibits federal officeholders from accepting emoluments from foreign states without first obtaining the affirmative consent of Congress.”

Senator Menendez requested that the embassies provide information regarding their process for selecting venues for official events and programs in Washington, D.C.; whether other venues were considered or submitted bids; any role that outside advisors, U.S. government officials, or Trump Organization employees had in selecting the venue; detailed billing information for goods and services; and more.

Copies of the Senator’s letters to the embassies of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, and the Philippines can be found below.

 

His Excellency Elin Suleymanov

Ambassador to the United States

Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan

2741 34th Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20008

 

Your Excellency:

 

I am writing to request information about transactions involving your government and the Trump Organization. As you know, President Trump has refused to completely divest from his business interests or place them in a blind trust, which creates the potential for conflicts of interest that may lead him to put his own financial interests above those of the U.S. government and the American people. Our founding fathers had this concern in mind when they wrote Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, which prohibits federal officeholders from accepting emoluments from foreign states without first obtaining the affirmative consent of Congress.

The event I am requesting information about occurred at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on December 14, 2016, when the Embassy of Azerbaijan co-hosted a Hanukkah party at the hotel’s Lincoln Library. To assist the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its oversight responsibilities, I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide the Committee the following information:

  • What is your government’s usual procurement process for hosting events at hotels or other venues in Washington, D.C.? Was that process followed for the December 2016 event?
  • Were other hotels or venues considered for event? If so, which ones?
  • Did other hotels or venues submit bids for the event? If so, how much did they bid?
  • Was your government encouraged or advised to select this venue by any U.S. organizations or individuals, including but not limited to those providing lobbying or advisory services, or any U.S. government officials or employees of the Trump Organization?
  • Did anyone from the U.S. government discuss the Trump Organization venue with officials from your government before it was selected for the visit? If so, please provide details of these discussions.
  • How much did the Trump International Hotel charge for the December 2016 event? Please include detailed billing information, such as a breakdown of costs for food, beverages, service, etc.
  • When did the Trump International Hotel submit its invoice and when was payment made?

I respectfully request that you provide this information to the Committee no later than July 11, 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or require any information about this request. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

His Excellency Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa

Ambassador to the United States

Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain

3502 International Drive, NW

Washington, D.C. 20008

 

I am writing to request information about transactions involving your government and the Trump Organization. As you know, President Trump has refused to completely divest from his business interests or place them in a blind trust, which creates the potential for conflicts of interest that may lead him to put his own financial interests above those of the U.S. government and the American people. Our founding fathers had this concern in mind when they wrote Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, which prohibits federal officeholders from accepting emoluments from foreign states without first obtaining the affirmative consent of Congress.

The event I am requesting information about occurred at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on December 7, 2016, to celebrate the 45th National Day of the Kingdom of Bahrain. To assist the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its oversight responsibilities, I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide the Committee the following information:

  • What is your government’s usual procurement process for hosting events at hotels or other venues in Washington, D.C.? Was that process followed for the December 2016 event?
  • Were other hotels or venues were considered for the event? If so, which ones?
  • Did other hotels or venues submit bids for the event? If so, how much did they bid?
  • Was your government encouraged or advised to select this venue by any U.S. organizations or individuals, including but not limited to those providing lobbying or advisory services, or any U.S. government officials or employees of the Trump Organization?
  • Did anyone from the U.S. government discuss the Trump Organization venue with officials from your government before it was selected for the visit? If so, please provide details of these discussions.
  • How much did the Trump International Hotel charge for the event? Please include detailed billing information, such as a breakdown of costs for food, beverages, service, etc.
  • When did the Trump International Hotel submit its invoice and when was payment made?

I respectfully request that you provide this information to the Committee no later than July 11, 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or require any information about this request. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

His Excellency Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

Ambassador to the United States

Embassy of the State of Kuwait

2940 Tilden Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20008

 

Your Excellency:

 

I am writing to request information about transactions involving your government and the Trump Organization. As you know, President Trump has refused to completely divest from his business interests or place them in a blind trust, which creates the potential for conflicts of interest that may lead him to put his own financial interests above those of the U.S. government and the American people. Our founding fathers had this concern in mind when they wrote Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, which prohibits federal officeholders from accepting emoluments from foreign states without first obtaining the affirmative consent of Congress.

The event I am requesting information about occurred at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on February 22, 2017 to celebrate Kuwait’s independence from British rule. Press accounts indicate that this event was originally scheduled to take place at the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C, before the location was changed to the Trump International Hotel. To assist the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its oversight responsibilities, I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide the Committee the following information:

  • What is your government’s usual procurement process for hosting events at hotels or other venues in Washington, D.C.? Was that process followed for the February 2017 event?
  • Why was the event’s location changed from the Four Seasons to the Trump International Hotel? Were other hotels or venues considered for the event? If so, which ones?
  • Did other hotels or venues submit bids for the event? If so, how much did they bid?
  • Was your government encouraged or advised to select this venue by any U.S. organizations or individuals, including but not limited to those providing lobbying or advisory services, or any U.S. government officials or employees of the Trump Organization?
  • Did anyone from the U.S. government discuss the Trump Organization venue with officials from your government before it was selected for the visit? If so, please provide details of these discussions.
  • How much did the Trump International Hotel charge for the event? Please include detailed billing information, such as a breakdown of costs for food, beverages, service, etc.
  • When did the Trump International Hotel submit its invoice and when was payment made?

I respectfully request that you provide this information to the Committee no later than July 11, 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or require any information about this request. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

His Excellency Zulhasnan Rafique

Ambassador to the United States

Embassy of Malaysia

3516 International Court, NW

Washington, D.C. 20008

 

Your Excellency:

 

I am writing to request information about transactions involving your government and the Trump Organization. As you know, President Trump has refused to completely divest from his business interests or place them in a blind trust, which creates the potential for conflicts of interest that may lead him to put his own financial interests above those of the U.S. government and the American people. Our founding fathers had this concern in mind when they wrote Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, which prohibits federal officeholders from accepting emoluments from foreign states without first obtaining the affirmative consent of Congress.

The event I am requesting information about is former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s September 2017 visit to Washington, D.C. and his reported stay at the Trump International Hotel.  According to reports, that visit involved dozens of members of Najib’s entourage, the rental of several conference rooms, and a white-tablecloth breakfast in the hotel’s Lincoln Library meeting room. Press accounts note that similar events of this scale have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue for the Trump Organization. To assist the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its oversight responsibilities, I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide the Committee the following information:

  • What is your government’s usual procurement process for booking official travel and hosting events at hotels or other venues in Washington, D.C.? Was that process followed for the September 2017 visit?
  • Were other hotels or venues considered for the visit? If so, which ones?
  • Did other hotels or venues submit bids for the visit? If so, how much did they bid?
  • Was your government encouraged or advised to select this venue by any U.S. organizations or individuals, including but not limited to those providing lobbying or advisory services, or any U.S. government officials or employees of the Trump Organization?
  • Did anyone from the U.S. government discuss the Trump Organization venue with officials from your government before it was selected for the visit? If so, please provide details of these discussions.
  • How much did the Trump International Hotel charge for the visit and accompanying meetings and meals? Please include detailed billing information, such as a breakdown of costs for food, beverages, service, etc.
  • When did the Trump International Hotel submit its invoice and when was payment made?

I respectfully request that you provide this information to the Committee no later than July 11, 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or require any information about this request. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.

His Excellency Jose Manuel del Gallego Romualdez

Ambassador to the United States

Embassy of the Philippines

1600 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20036

 

Your Excellency:

 

I am writing to request information about transactions involving your government and the Trump Organization. As you know, President Trump has refused to completely divest from his business interests or place them in a blind trust, which creates the potential for conflicts of interest that may lead him to put his own financial interests above those of the U.S. government and the American people. Our founding fathers had this concern in mind when they wrote Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, which prohibits federal officeholders from accepting emoluments from foreign states without first obtaining the affirmative consent of Congress.

The event I am requesting information about occurred at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 12, 2018, to commemorate the 120th of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence. To assist the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its oversight responsibilities, I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide the Committee the following information:

  • What is your government’s usual procurement process for hosting events at hotels or other venues in Washington, D.C.? Was that process followed for the June 2018 event?
  • Were other hotels or venues considered for event? If so, which ones?
  • Did other hotels or venues submit bids for event? If so, how much did they bid?
  • Was your government encouraged or advised to select this venue by any U.S. organizations or individuals, including but not limited to those providing lobbying or advisory services, or any U.S. government officials or employees of the Trump Organization?
  • Did anyone from the U.S. government discuss the Trump Organization venue with officials from your government before it was selected for the visit? If so, please provide details of these discussions.
  • How much did the Trump International Hotel charge for the event? Please include detailed billing information, such as a breakdown of costs for food, beverages, service, etc.
  • When did the Trump International Hotel submit its invoice and when was payment made

I respectfully request that you provide this information to the Committee no later than July 11, 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or require any information about this request. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.

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