Donald Trump’s company sent the Department of the Treasury a $151,470 check signed by Eric Trump, the Trump Organization's executive vice president, for the “unconditioned and general use of the federal government,” according to a copy of the check and other documents obtained by BuzzFeed News in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The money, according to the Trump Organization's tax lawyer, was profit that the Trump Organization's hotels said it earned in 2017 from doing business with foreign governments. George Sorial, the Trump Organization's executive vice president and chief compliance counsel, announced the donation last month. But he refused to disclose the amount.
“The Trump Organization is pleased to make this voluntary donation to the U.S. government and requests that it be deposited into ‘Gifts to the United States’ account,” wrote Sheri Dillon, the Trump Organization's tax attorney at the law firm Morgan Lewis.
The watchdog group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington called into question the Trump Organization’s math in a tweet last month.
The check is dated Feb. 21 and had funds drawn from the Trump Organization’s Capital One bank account in New York. The Treasury deposited the check on Feb. 26, according to a copy of the deposit slip.
Ethics experts said Donald Trump's refusal to divest from his business ventures, which includes the Trump Organization's hotel empire, violates the Constitution's emoluments clause.
The check from the Trump Organization was signed by Eric Trump. An earlier version of this story misidentified who signed it.
Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He is a 2018 Pulitzer finalist for international reporting, recipient of the IRE 2016 FOI award and a 2016 Newseum Institute National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame inductee.
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