Former one-term President Trump’s company has agreed to sell its Trump International Hotel operation in Washington, D.C.
The deal is said to be worth $375 million and will result in the Trump name being removed from the landmark property that stands close to the White House.
The sale of the lease of the hotel, which operates out of a landmark federal building on Pennsylvania Avenue, comes after years of financial losses at the property, which opened in 2016, shortly before Trump was elected president.
The hotel’s lease is being bought by Miami-based investment firm CGI Merchant Group, according to The Wall Street Journal, which says the company is working with another hotel chain, Hilton Worldwide Holdings.
In its new iteration, Trump’s name will be replaced by the Waldorf Astoria brand on the massive historic property, which has previously been both a post office and an office building.
Members of the House Oversight Committee recently stated that the Trump family’s company suffered a net loss of $70 million in operating the hotel.
From the time of its opening, the hotel immediately drew crowds of Trump supporters and favor-seekers. For a businessman president, it was the ideal bridge between his two worlds: a Trump hotel five blocks from the Trump White House.
This blurring between Trump’s business and his presidency fueled attacks from congressional Democrats who charged that he used the property as the hub of an influence-peddling operation.
Trump’s critics filed lawsuits against him, arguing that business that the hotel received from foreign governments violated the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits federal officials from taking gifts or payments from other governments.
Trump’s company said that it voluntarily did not solicit business from foreign embassies, given the potential accusations of influence peddling.
The political operations run by Trump and his family, as well as the Republican National Committee, also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the hotel, as it became a frequent spot for fund-raising events.
In total, more than $3 million in payments from political committees came in since early 2020 to the Washington hotel, Federal Election Commission records show.
The deal with CGI comes as Trump faces numerous costly and distracting criminal investigations, including by prosecutors in New York, who this year indicted the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.
The prosecutors are investigating whether Trump and his company artificially inflated his property values to obtain loans.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sued Trump claiming that he violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign governments at the hotel, said the pending sale did not resolve the ethics issues associated with his ownership of the hotel while he was president.
“Selling it now that he’s out of office and the grift dried up is, to say the least, too little, too late,” said Noah Bookbinder, the president of the organization.