The government watchdog group known as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a referral seeking a blockade of the Trump Organization from entering into contracts with the federal government. As the organization notes in a press release, the Trump family business (and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg) are facing criminal charges, which relate to an apparent years-long scheme to shield pricey executive benefits from taxation. It’s not the first issue at the Trump Organization, either — it’s been under investigation for related issues like potential fraudulent adjustments to valuations of its assets. The adjustments would have been meant to help with obtaining financial benefits like tax breaks.
BREAKING: We just sent a referral to five government agencies calling on them to stop doing business with the Trump Organization https://t.co/BiNSKkfD25
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) October 12, 2021
Federal rules demand that only companies possessing “a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics” may enter into contracts with the federal government. That’s almost comically off-base from what goes on at the Trump Organization, suggesting that the time for the company’s entrance into contracts with the federal government is over. CREW President Noah Bookbinder commented as follows:
‘Over the past decade, the Trump Organization has entered into a variety of contracts and business arrangements with federal agencies. Donald Trump used the presidency to enrich himself by promoting his businesses as extensions of his administration and enabled the Trump Organization to avoid accountability for its conduct. The Trump Organization has behaved so egregiously in so many contexts that suspending the Trump Organization entities and senior officers from federal business is clearly necessary to protect the government from their abuses.’
Besides CREW, the new filing also has the backing of the Project on Government Oversight and Professor Steven L. Schooner, who’s an expert on government contract-related issues. Meanwhile, CREW notes how a House committee recently revealed that Trump “concealed hundreds of millions of dollars in debts from the General Services Administration when bidding on the Old Post Office Building lease, and provided misleading information about the financial situation of the Trump International Hotel Washington in his annual financial disclosures.” The Old Post Office Building is what currently houses Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel. Like other components of his real estate holdings, that hotel has provided the opportunity for interests seeking his favor to directly financially support him. Could the corruption be any clearer?
Bookbinder added the following, referencing the Trump company’s misconduct:
‘Each of these instances makes clear that the Trump Organization lacks business integrity and fails to meet the government’s requirements for suitable contractors. These indictments and settlements and the Organization’s documented history of misconduct leave the federal government no choice but to immediately suspend the Trump Organization from present and future government contracts.’
In the meantime, authorities in New York (where the criminal charges were issued) have made clear that their investigative efforts targeting Trump are continuing. Read more from CREW at this link.