CREW requests Interior records on Zinke Trump Hotel lunch
- Copies of any records documenting who paid for Secretary Ryan Zinke’s lunch at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. with Bob Pence on July 25, 2017;
- Copies of any records documenting payments made by DOI to the Trump International Hotel – Washington D.C. in relation to Secretary Zinke’s July 25, 2017 lunch
According to Secretary Zinke’s personal schedule for July 2017, he participated in an hour-long lunch with Bob Pence at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. which is still majority owned by President Trump through a revocable trust, on July 25, 2017. The lunch marks the second time since Secretary Zinke took office that a visit to President Trump’s hotel has appeared on his schedule. On March 23, 2017, Secretary Zinke addressed a meeting of the board of directors of the American Petroleum Institute held at the hotel. He is also reportedly scheduled to address a meeting of the board of directors of the National Mining Association at the Trump hotel in Washington D.C. in early October.
Since President Trump has refused to divest from his private business interests, ethics experts and lawmakers have raised concerns about taxpayer funds being used at his private businesses, particularly in light of President Trump’s frequent trips to his for-profit properties.
The requested records would shed light on whether DOI funds were used to pay for Secretary Zinke’s lunch at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. and whether any taxpayer funds ended up in the coffers of the president’s private business.