December 7, 2022
The Trump name is checking out of Pennsylvania Avenue for a second time with the sale of former President Donald Trump's luxury hotel lease in Washington being finalized Wednesday.

The Trump name is checking out of Pennsylvania Avenue for a second time with the sale of former President Donald Trump’s luxury hotel lease in Washington being finalized Wednesday.

CGI Merchant Group, a Miami-based investment manager, bought the lease of Trump International Hotel for a “record-breaking” $375 million from the Trump Organization and plans to turn the property into a Waldorf Astoria hotel in partnership with Hilton.

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“Proud to announce the record-breaking sale of the Trump D.C. The transaction marks the highest price per key ever achieved in Washington D.C., the highest price per key in U.S. history for a leasehold interest, and the largest sale of a historic hotel in over 15 years,” Eric Trump, one of the former president’s sons and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, tweeted Wednesday.

The sale of the hotel means all Trump-branded items will be removed, from the golden door signs to linens and coasters.

“This acquisition marks a major milestone for CGI in our quest to rewrite the meaning of return on investment,” Raoul Thomas, CEO and founder of CGI, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with our friends at Hilton to bring the Waldorf Astoria brand to an iconic landmark in the nation’s capital and look forward to working closely together to have a lasting and positive impact on the Washington, D.C. community.”

The Trump Organization has run the historic Old Post Office building since 2012, when it was awarded the lease by the General Services Administration. The former president’s ties to the hotel have been a source of inquiry and litigation for years.

Critics complained that Donald Trump mixed his business and politics, as he was known to entertain associates at the hotel, and his Presidential Inaugural Committee rented out around $1 million in ballroom space at the hotel during inauguration week.

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Earlier this year, two top Democrats sought to stop the sale by calling on the GSA to terminate the lease in light of the Trump Organization’s longtime accounting firm saying it could not stand by nine years of financial statements it prepared for the company.

“Today’s sale is the latest in a long line of questionable deals, conflicts of interest, and constitutional violations involving former President Trump and his Washington, D.C. hotel,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, said in a statement. “The former president will personally receive tens of millions of dollars in profits from selling his lease at a significant premium over market rates, yet the American public still does not know whose money is paying for this deal.  It is unfortunate that the purchaser, CGI Merchant Group, chose to proceed with the purchase before answering the Committee’s questions, but we remain committed to getting answers and lifting the veil of secrecy on this transaction.”

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