A foreign government and a trade group reportedly booked a large number of rooms at Trump hotels that they never used, prompting an investigation into “pay to play” concerns from the House Oversight Committee.
Politico first reported the investigation on Wednesday. Committee member Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) confirmed the probe to the publication.
Connolly didn’t have specific details on the allegations, but an unnamed source told Politico the investigation began after the committee learned that an unnamed foreign government, as well as an unnamed trade association, booked large numbers of rooms in Trump’s hotels but only stayed in only a few of them.
“Now we’re looking at near raw bribery,” Connolly told Politico. “That was the risk from day one — foreign governments and others trying to seek favor because we know Trump pays attention to this…. It’s an obvious attempt to curry favor with him.”
News of this possible attempt to curry favor with the President follows the revelation that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned Trump’s hotel in a call with Trump earlier this year.
In a memorandum of a July phone call between President Trump and Zelensky released recently by the White House, Zelensky noted that he stayed in Trump Tower during his last trip to the United States — a particularly frank form of flattery and, it appears, the first time a world leader was quoted telling the President about staying at one of his properties.