Professor Charles Tiefer has been busy writing about and commenting on matters involving President-elect Donald Trump.
In an op-ed in today’s Daily Record, Tiefer writes about Trump’s election vow to do away with up to 70 percent of federal regulations and offers the president-elect a “primer” on what it takes to create a regulation — and what it takes to unwind one.
“Enacting … a regulation is an elaborate process that involves extensive, careful fact-finding and the evaluation of policies based on a full public record,” Tiefer wrote. “It can take years. Undoing or modifying a regulation involves the same kind of process and can also take years.”
Meanwhile, Tiefer discussed Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel headache in abcnews.com and money.cnn.com. Both news reports focused on Trump’s stake in the recently-opened Trump International Hotel, which is housed in the government-owned Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue.
ABC reported Dec. 1 that the lease negotiated by Trump runs for hundreds of “complicated and dreadfully dull pages” – before noting that Clause 37.19 at the top of Page 103 has become a matter of great interest among experts on government contracting law.
Said ABC: “If some of the experts are correct — a big if — the first 43 words of this clause could force Trump to unload his equity stake in the hotel just down the street from the White House. The key part: No ‘elected official of the Government of the United States’ shall be ‘admitted to any share or part of this Lease.’”
Tiefer, who served as the general counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives for 11 years before he began teaching at UB in the mid-1990s, said that the contract language was “unambiguous” and that Trump would be in violation of the contract when he becomes president.
Trump has said he would transfer control of his many business interests to his children, but contracting experts say the hotel still poses a problem for him. They noted that President Trump could stage press conferences and other events there, which could raise the profile – and the value – of the hotel. Also, they said, foreign heads of state could stay at the hotel as a way to ingratiate themselves with the president.
“It’s kind of an easy way to buy the appearance that you have a connection with the Trump organization,” Tiefer told CNN in “Trump’s Washington hotel could become ethical headache” (Nov. 15).