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Donald Trump Is Profiting From State Pension Funds Through His SoHo Hotel

The Trump SoHo Hotel

Another connection in the inextricable relationship between President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization has been brought to light, one that hits close to home.

Eleven state pension funds have placed investments with the Los Angeles-based CIM Group, which owns the Trump SoHo Hotel. In exchange for branding and management, CIM pays Trump International Hotels Management 5.75% of the hotel's annual revenue, Reuters reports. With Trump having given himself the ability to withdraw money from the Trump Organization privately, at any time, there is now a straight line between state pension funds and Trump himself.

Legal experts interviewed by Reuters were split on the ramifications of such a connection, but three of the six claimed that it violates the domestic emoluments clause of the Constitution, another side of the foreign emoluments clause that was the subject of much controversy when Trump refused to divest himself from the business that bears his name.

The domestic clause prohibits the sitting president from receiving any money from the states, but California, New York, Texas, Arizona, Montana, Michigan and Missouri have all invested money from their state employee pension funds — benefiting about 5 million people in total — in CIM Group, which the states also pay to manage their investments.

A lawsuit has already been filed against Trump over profits the Trump Organization receives from foreign countries, but the state pensions and CIM are not named in the suit.