DeFazio threatens to subpoena GSA for Trump Hotel documents

By Sam Mintz

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House committee that oversees federal buildings, threatened today to subpoena the General Services Administration if the agency does not hand over documents related to the Trump Hotel by next week.

DeFazio's committee, the House Transportation Committee, has been investigating the federal government's lease of the Old Post Office Building for the Trump International Hotel.

In a letter to GSA, DeFazio and Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), who chairs the subcommittee with jurisdiction, say the agency has failed to provide certain financial documents and made false claims of attorney client and deliberative process privileges for legal records.

"If your agency does not produce all of these records by Wednesday, October 23, 2019 to the committee, I will be forced to use the compulsory process and issue a subpoena soon after," the letter says.

DeFazio has argued that because the lease prohibits elected officials from benefiting, and President Donald Trump has not separated himself from his investments, he has breached the lease's terms and may be violating the emoluments clauses of the Constitution.

GSA has already handed over more than 10,000 pages of documents, the committee said last month.

In a separate separate letter, DeFazio gave notice to committee ranking member Sam Graves (R-MO) that he may subpoena the GSA. Graves has called the investigation into the lease a "desperate attempt to attack the President and sideline the good work of our committee."