Supreme Court dismisses House Democrats dispute over Trump hotel documents

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a dispute over whether individual Democratic members of Congress could sue for government documents related to the former Trump International hotel in Washington.

The move came after Democratic lawmakers voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit, which the Biden administration was defending.

The case stems from a 2013 decision by the General Services Administration, which oversees federal real estate, to lease the former post office building in Washington to the Trump Family Organization so it could operate a hotel. .

The Trump International Hotel operated throughout Trump’s tenure, raising legal, ethical and constitutional concerns, including whether people paying for rooms there were seeking to influence the White House. Trump’s company sold the lease last year and the hotel now operates as a Waldorf Astoria.

When Trump won the 2016 election, 17 Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., demanded access to documents relating to the deal, questioning whether Trump had a conflict of interest.

The GSA, then controlled by the Trump administration, refused the request, although it later turned over many of the documents lawmakers sought while withholding others.

A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuits filed in 2017 by lawmakers, saying they had no legal standing.

In a 2020 ruling handed down just before Trump left, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia restarted the lawsuit, with a three-judge panel ruling 2-1 that lawmakers were wronged.

In its brief unsigned decision on Monday, the Supreme Court overturned that decision.

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