Dem. Senator Calls For Ethics Probe Into Trump Org’s Public Pension Funding

The Trump Soho hotel is seen in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. The Cavaliers have made other arrangements for players who do not want to stay at a New York hotel branded by President-elect Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The Trump Soho hotel is seen in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. The Cleveland Cavaliers have made other arrangements for players who do not want to stay at a New York hotel branded by President-elect Donald Trump. T... The Trump Soho hotel is seen in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. The Cleveland Cavaliers have made other arrangements for players who do not want to stay at a New York hotel branded by President-elect Donald Trump. The Cavs booked rooms at Trump Soho, but general manager David Griffin said the team has arranged for players who want to stay elsewhere to do so together. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) MORE LESS
|
May 22, 2017 3:45 p.m.

The ranking member of the Senate committee responsible for regulating pensions on Monday urged the Office of Government Ethics to investigate whether President Donald Trump was violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, after a report that public pension funds in several states had paid millions to an investment fund that owns a Trump hotel.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, wrote to the Office of Government Ethics on Monday that, based on recent reporting, “President Trump may be profiting from the retirement plans of millions of our nation’s public servants,” in violation of the Constitution’s prohibition on “domestic emoluments.”

She urged the office, which itself is a vocal critic of Trump’s business and ethics arrangements, to investigate the report.

Murray’s letter cites a Reuters report from April 26 that found the Trump SoHo Hotel and Condominium in New York City was owned by one of the Los Angeles-based CIM Group’s real estate funds. State- and city-run pension funds in at least seven states, Reuters reported, had paid millions of dollars quarterly to that fund, which in turn paid out millions of dollars to Trump International Hotels Management LLC, which operates and manages the hotel and is controlled by Trump’s business trust.

Reuters said it was the first reported instance of public pension fund investment in Trump-affiliated businesses.

“It therefore appears that public pension funds from several cities and states are paying millions of dollars to an investment fund, which in turn pays millions of dollars to Trump International Hotels Management LLC, from which President Trump profits,” Murray wrote, after summarizing Reuters’ reporting.

“This looks like exactly the type of monetary flow prohibited by the Constitution.”

Read Murray’s letter below:

Introducing
The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30