Lobbyists for the Saudi Arabian government paid for more than 500 nights at the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., during a three-month span following the 2016 presidential election for veterans they recruited to "storm the Hill" and lobby against a law the Saudis opposed, The Washington Post reports.
In total, the lobbyists paid nearly $270,000 to house the veterans, expenses that are now being scrutinized as President Donald Trump still owns the hotel.
Trump is the subject of two emoluments lawsuits that allege he never divested himself of his financial interests in the Trump Organization, which receives payments from foreign governments for services, such as hotel rooms and events at Trump-owned hotels.
Two clauses in the Constitution forbid the president from receiving things of value.
The bookings for the trips for veterans were first made at hotels in Northern Virginia but changed to the Trump International Hotel because the 500 nights in Trump's hotel came at a discounted rate, according to organizers.
Executives at the hotel told the Post they were not aware Saudis were footing the bill.
Some of the veterans the newspaper spoke with also said they were not aware they were lobbying on behalf of the Saudi government.
The law the Saudis opposed – the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act – allows victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia.