Patterico's Pontifications


Attorney General Barr Hosting Holiday Party At Trump Hotel

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:21 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So, is everyone okay with this:

Attorney General William Barr is planning a holiday bash at his boss’ hotel in downtown Washington.

The party at the Trump International Hotel, Washington, DC, could wind up costing more than $30,000, according to The Washington Post, which first reported on the party and its details. A Justice Department official told CNN that the party is not an official Justice Department event and will be paid out of Barr’s pocket.

Still, it is raising concerns from ethics experts and comes as the Justice Department defends President Donald Trump’s businesses in court over claims that they’re benefiting unlawfully from his position.

The party will cost a significant amount of money:

According to a contract Barr signed with the Trump hotel that was obtained by the Post, the party will draw a guest list of about 200 people and include a buffet and four-hour open bar. Depending on his menu selections, Barr’s party could run north of $45,000, according to calculations by the Post, and the contract stipulates that he pay at least $31,500, even if he cancels the event, the paper said.


“It contributes to this idea that you have to be putting money into an entity that will benefit the President — if not today, then down the road — personally to stay in his good graces,” Hempowicz said.

“On the letter of the law, this isn’t a violation, however it doesn’t look good. That’s not nothing when we’re talking about the chief law enforcement officer of the country and his private activity,” said Liz Hempowicz, the director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group.

And let’s keep in mind Barr headed the DOJ after the President was sued by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia president that he was illegally profiting from foreign and state government visitors staying at his hotels.

As to whether it appears as if Barr is trying to “curry favor” with the President, an administration official denied that was the case, noting that Barr went to ethics officials at the DOJ for counsel, and was told that the ethics rules did not disallow him from hosting the party at Trump’s hotel. Further, Barr had scouted other establishments to host the party prior to settling on Trump’s place:

[Barr] had originally booked space for the party — an annual event that he throws for family and friends — at Washington’s Willard Hotel. However, that hotel had to cancel on him after they realized they’d double-booked the evening.

Barr also tried the Mayflower Hotel, another stately building in downtown Washington, but it too was unavailable to hold his event on his date of choice, December 8.

Note: Although Trump no longer runs his businesses, and instead his sons now have that responsibility, Trump still still benefits from them financially.

This news comes on the heels of Trump saying that he wants to host next year’s G-7 summit at the Trump Doral Resort in Florida, which also also raises a question of ethics.

Yesterday, Trump said that he didn’t care about making money (with regard to hosting the G-7), he just cared about the country. He could back up that claim by donating any and all profits from Barr’s event to a charity that helps Americans, yes?

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


34 Responses to “Attorney General Barr Hosting Holiday Party At Trump Hotel”

  1. Welp.

    Dana (fdf131)

  2. Every bit as corrupt as foreign government donating to the Clinton foundation while she was Sec State.
    The swap wasn’t drained, we just swapped blue crocodiles that tried to weasel about the legality with red crocodiles that below ‘stop me if you can’.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  3. “A Justice Department official told CNN that the party is not an official Justice Department event and will be paid out of Barr’s pocket.”

    End of story. I only eat at restaurants where I know the people too.

    In the second place, there’s no ethics of violation since it’s Barr who’s paying for it. In the first place, it’s probably the place least likely to have an employee’s saliva or other bodily fluids in the guests’ food or drink.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. It’s about the optics, both of Barr signaling loyalty to Trump, and that it’s Trump’s hotel.

    Dana (fdf131)

  5. Caesar’s wife? There are no Pompeias anywhere these days.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. I doubt this fraud would have indicted Manson.

    mg (8cbc69)

  7. Perspective: Trump’s hotel was Barr’s third option, after being turned down by two others. Wonder if the Willard was really double booked.

    But the AG throws a Christmas party costing $30,000 plus as a normal thing?

    Kishnevi (c5227a)

  8. Thank you, mg. See what I mean, Dana? There will always be “some” for whom Barr will never be above reproach.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Tempest, meet teapot. Molehill, meet mountain. Pinky finger, meet lip edge as you talk about how a party in the middle of a high-priced urban bed-bughive for the highest ranking government officials costs over THIRTY. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. You could almost buy a single Congressional vote for that!

    Chump change and chump news for chump readers.

    Barr Tab (a7aaa7)

  10. It’s tribute.

    … and Dead John Mitchell smiled.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. Barr’s opinion on the Emoluments Clause is noted.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  12. With 10 and 11, the opinions of the Chump Caucus are now on file and I’ll be sure to deliver them as talking points to the Joe Walsh Presidential campaign.

    Barr Tab (62e901)

  13. Excuse me, a four-hour open bar? Does anyone know how one might go about finagling an invitation to this event?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  14. $30,000?
    “Every bit as corrupt as foreign government donating to the Clinton foundation while she was Sec State.”
    Except for the decimal point

    steveg (354706)

  15. Mr. Tab, I think you’re a little misguided about who has been chumped.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  16. #13
    Borrow Patrick’s LA Superior Court ID badge?
    Or just see if you can crash the US AG’s party.
    An accomplishment all in and of itself
    Worth a try. Free drinks and a TMZ worthy exit? Priceless

    steveg (354706)

  17. Get yourself invited to a Polish wedding, JVW. Open bar from 5 pm to 2 am, plus four bottles of wine and seven bottles of vodka per table of eight.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Are the 7 bottles of vodka delivered at 2AM?
    Those are some folks that love the church service where the father tells the sermon of Jesus turning water into wine but opine that perhaps the text mis-spoke on the vodka… describing it as wine

    steveg (354706)

  19. And I never asked if there would have been eight bottles of vodka and no wine if the eighth person at the table was not Greek.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. Alright, could we ask the Never Trumpers to pick a side? Are we concerned about Barr and his department financially benefitting their ultimate boss, or are we concerned about President Trump trying to curry favor with front-line DOJ people by offering a “friends and family”discount to this party?

    Russ from Winterset (df9310)

  21. The way it started out steveg was two bottles of vodka, four bottles of wine (two red, two white), and a couple of pitchers of soft drinks when we sat down. Then the bride’s brother kept coming around with crates of vodka and putting a bottle on the table until there were seven by a couple of hours in.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. A $31,500 contract that stipulates payment even in the event of cancellation; in other words, no refunds. You book it, you pay for it. That’s the rental fee for the ball room or event center at the hotel for one evening. The $45,000 would be the catering and open bar fees for 200+ people. So that’s $76, 500 at least for a birthday party. And note that doesn’t include the cost of a secret service detail, since the First Family and high-ranking officials will doubtless be invited, but that’s to be paid by the taxpayers.

    I agree with Dana, it’s just bad optics. Perhaps Barr is testing the waters though. If the Attorney General can host a birthday party at Trump International hotel in DC, why can’t the President host the G-7 at the Doral Resort in Florida?

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  23. Awaiting tomorrow’s outrage…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  24. Alright, could we ask the Never Trumpers to pick a side?

    Sure. I’m on the side of throwing the orange out on his ear because he’s not fit to be within 1,000 miles of the White House, and all these ethical issues will become moot.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. Neither was Obama, but elections have consequences so we had to live through 8 years of that.

    Russ from Winterset (939751)

  26. George Conway agrees with me. Both with that this is not a problem, and that hosting the G-7 at a Trump resort would be.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. NeverTrump made their choice three years ago. Hasn’t worked out well for them.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  28. Probably not an ethics violation, IMO, Just looks bad.

    And at 45,000 plus, that’s a hell of a holiday party.

    Nic (896fdf)

  29. Get yourself invited to a Polish wedding, JVW. Open bar from 5 pm to 2 am, plus four bottles of wine and seven bottles of vodka per table of eight.

    I grew up in a town with a large Slovenian and Croatian community. Our local historical society did an article on that communities weddings back in the early part of the last century. The wedding mass would be in the morning, then everyone would head to a luncheon to honor the bride and groom. The luncheon would begin at around noon, and pretty much last through breakfast the next morning. It sounds like a hell of a time.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  30. 8 – nk – I wouldn’t trust the DOJ if I were given a dozen get out of jail free cards.

    mg (8cbc69)

  31. Imagine wanting to have a party at a place with a reduced chance of being screamed at by Woke hyenas or having your food dicked with…..

    harkin (58d012)

  32. “Dear Boss:

    The Little Red Hen won’t cater the event. Ha, ha.

    Other hotels can’t guarantee that their wait staff does not contain a crazy liberal. The kind that might spit on you, a Trump family member, or spit in the food. Or covertly video Pence eyeing Michelle Malkin.

    The Trump staff is believed stable and loyal, just by working there.

    Security is better too–no problems with management caving to liberals who want Press, antifa or demonstrators admitted. Or staff walkouts by tolerant liberals.

    There is a concern: the Never Trump crowd will–of course-overlook all the other issues, and slam us for the “optics.”

    Your call: Better optics versus reliable venue, better security, no saliva in the food, no crazies.

    Let me know.”

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  33. 28: 45,000? peanuts for a decent holiday venue: same with any decent wedding venue.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  34. As I’ve gotten older I am OK with the fact that Vodka gives me a splitting headache upfront.
    I wish tequila did too…
    For whatever reason Bourbon treats me the best although I gotta admit that all of it makes me crazier than the law allows

    steveg (354706)

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