Chuck Rettig, a tax attorney whom President Trump appointed to head the internal Revenue Service (IRS), failed to disclose to Congress that the real estate he owns is at a Trump-branded hotel.
On Wednesday evening, Politico reported that Rettig failed to disclose to the Senate Finance Committee that the two rental units he included in his financial disclosure form were at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki and Tower. All presidential appointees subject to senate confirmation are required to disclose all assets and sources of income that exceed $1,000.
However, despite the discrepancy, a spokesperson for Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) — the chair of the committee — said the error won’t necessarily disqualify Rettig from being confirmed as the next Commissioner of the IRS.
“Mr. Rettig has moved through the Finance Committee’s bipartisan vetting process in good faith, providing accurate information regarding his personal finances and other matters,” Hatch spokeswoman Julia Lawless told Politico. “The properties that he purchased more than ten years ago were disclosed and vetted in the customary way. Members will have ample opportunity to ask questions and get further clarity on this fact and any questions they may have during tomorrow’s hearing.”
While the Trump International Hotel Waikiki and Tower bears the president’s name, neither Trump nor the company he handed over to his adult children own it. Rather, the hotel and condominium development pays Trump a licensing fee in order to use his name on its building. This hasn’t stopped President Trump from giving the impression that he owns it, however. In 2017, the president made an unscheduled stop to the hotel to personally thank employees.
Rettig’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday. He has been awaiting confirmation since February, when the president first announced his appointment to fill the position previously held by John Koskinen.
Logan Espinoza is a freelance contributor specializing in economic issues. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and daughter. Contact him at logan DOT espinoza AT yahoo DOT com.