Under the Freedom Of Information Act, CREW requests:
- All communications between State Department employees and representatives for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak mentioning the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.
- All communications between State Department employees and representatives for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak related to lodging during the Prime Ministers’ September visit to Washington, D.C.
Former Mexican diplomat Arturo Sarukhan tweeted on October 31, 2017 that he was told that the State Department is pressuring foreign leaders who visit the United States for official trips to stay at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. If this is true, it means that the scope of the president’s violation of the Emoluments Clause may be greater than previously known and the State Department is complicit in the violation.
The Malaysian prime minister’s visit might be one case where the State Department has advised a foreign government to stay at the president’s hotel, particularly given the unexpected nature of the choice and the prime minister’s apparent incentives to current favor with the government investigating him.
The records CREW requests may shed light on whether Ambassador Sarukhan assertion is correct by showing how the State Department advised the Malaysian foreign government on the question of lodging when Prime Minister Najib Razak visited Washington, DC to meet with President Trump on September 12. The prime minister and his entourage stayed at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and Najib held a press conference with the Malaysian press at the hotel.