BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

Here’s The Check Donald Trump’s Company Sent To The US Treasury

The payment to the Department of the Treasury represents what the Trump Organization says are profits it earned in 2017 from doing business with foreign governments.

Posted on April 18, 2018, at 3:20 p.m. ET

Donald and Melania Trump greet Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe as they arrive for dinner at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.
Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

Donald and Melania Trump greet Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe as they arrive for dinner at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

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.

Department of the Treasury / FOIA

The watchdog group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington called into question the Trump Organization’s math in a tweet last month.

Trump's hotel company wrote a $150k check to the Treasury to cover all the "profits" it made from foreign governments. But the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spent about $270,000 at the Trump International Hotel in DC alone last spring. https://t.co/OgpUjI4ckg

@CREWcrew / Twitter

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.

CORRECTION

The check from the Trump Organization was signed by Eric Trump. An earlier version of this story misidentified who signed it.


  • Picture of Jason Leopold

    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.

    Contact Jason Leopold at jason.leopold@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

ADVERTISEMENT