The General Services Administration has provided House Democrats with documents related to former President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel, in the second case this week where the Biden administration gave the House information that the Trump administration had blocked it from obtaining.
The Biden administration revealed in a court filing on Friday that the House committee had asked for the records and the GSA had turned over some of them last week.
House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, requested a slew of records in March related to the Trump International Hotel lease of the Old Post Office Building, which is not far from the White House. It was a request he had resubmitted to the GSA after it had been blocked by the Trump administration.
The GSA responded in a letter to DeFazio last week that it was turning over some of the requested records, including monthly financial statements from the Trump hotel, audits and lease amendments – though the GSA declined to provide legal memorandums, arguing that those records were part of “internal executive branch legal advice.” The letter from the GSA said it was still working to fulfill DeFazio’s request for memos and communications from the White House or other federal agencies related to the lease of the Old Post Office Building.
The documents were provided to the committee on a confidential basis and were not released publicly.
The GSA’s willingness to provide documents to the House comes around the same time that the Justice Department struck an agreement with the House Judiciary Committee this week for the long-sought testimony of former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn. The House’s agreement with the Justice Department came ahead of a scheduled court hearing on the matter.
There are still several other outstanding court cases in which the House is fighting for Trump-related documents – most notably the effort by the House Ways and Means Committee to obtain Trump’s tax returns from the IRS. That case has a status update scheduled for May 28.
The Justice Department’s court filing that included the letter from the GSA was part of a separate case involving the House Oversight Committee’s subpoena for Trump-related documents, because there was overlap in the records that were provided. The filing noted that it did not nullify the lawsuit because the Oversight panel was seeking additional records, too.