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Trump Completes Sale of Washington Hotel to Investor Group


But some would-be guests expressed frustration after they received calls telling them their reservations had been canceled. “They are just stiffing everyone,” said Jayson Woodbridge, a California winemaker who had a reservation for a weeklong stay at the hotel to attend his daughter’s graduation in the area.

Last week, Mickael Damelincourt, the longtime manager of the hotel, moved from table to table to greet some of the regulars at the lobby bar, pausing to take photos with several of them in advance of the hotel’s sale. The BLT Prime restaurant at the property had already closed permanently, as had the Ivanka Trump spa, and the hotel itself was no longer taking room reservations.

Just days before the sale closed, the Trump Organization and Mr. Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee agreed to settle a lawsuit by Karl A. Racine, the attorney general for the District of Columbia, who had claimed that the hotel had illegally received excessive payments from the inaugural committee, totaling more than $1 million.

The settlement in the civil suit came with no admission of wrongdoing by the Trump Organization, the former president or the inaugural committee.

Those claims were among the many allegations in various lawsuits that Mr. Trump improperly profited from the lobby, through payments made to the hotel by among others,ists and foreign governments. Suits from the State of Maryland and Democratic members of Congress cited the emoluments clauses of the Constitution, which prohibit federal officials from accepting financial benefits from foreign governments without congressional approval.

The Trump family has paid the federal government a base rent of $3 million a year for the Old Post Office Building, according to its 2013 lease. The sale will generate a profit of about $100 million for the family, once a loan taken out to pay for the renovations is paid off, according to estimates by House Democrats.

The contract with the federal government that the Trump Organization signed called for the company to share some of its profits with the government if the hotel were sold. But a Trump Organization executive said the way the lease was written — allowing the Trump family to earn a 20 percent annual rate of return on equity put into the hotel project — meant there was not likely to be a large amount of such profit-sharing.


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