Following public outrage over President Trump’s decision to hold the G-7 summit at his Doral golf resort, and the president’s subsequent walkback, CREW kept pressure on the administration by again requesting that the State Department Inspector General open an investigation into the matter. The president’s reversal of the decision failed to address substantial, ongoing concerns, especially that the president used his influence to promote his own resort and biased the State Department’s procurement process. Because the State Department has refused to offer any information on how Doral was selected, the public cannot trust that the State Department didn’t alter its procurement process for the benefit of the president and wouldn’t do so again.
CREW first requested an investigation in September, after the president said that the G-7 summit was likely to be held at his resort. Both letters stress that the government fell far short of the transparency and ethical standards required in federal contracting, and seemingly ignored the brazen conflict of interest and possible violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses created by the president’s involvement in the process and his failure to divest from his business. The Inspector General must investigate the unprecedented initial decision and apparent lack of process at the State Department, and make its findings available to the public. We deserve answers.