Ivanka and Don Jr. may well have some ‘splaining to do, under oath, now that the corruption case against the Trump inaugural committee has taken a big step closer to trial.
As ABC News explained, the case basically alleges that Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel grossly overcharged the non-profit Presidential Inaugural Committee (“PIC”), in order for the Trump family to line their own pockets with non-profit dough. A judge just tossed the case against the Trump Organization (the family business). But the same ruling allowed the case against the inaugural committee to proceed to trial.
That could be very bad news for Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr.
Mother Jones explains:
According to [D.C. Attorney General Karl] Racine’s investigation, both Ivanka and Donald Jr. were involved in deliberations related [to] the alleged misuse of funds. The lawsuit alleges that Ivanka knew the PIC was [being overcharged by] the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., for event space during the inauguration in January 2017. Filings show that during the organization of the inauguration, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a lead producer of the event, raised concerns with the president-elect, Ivanka, and [Rick] Gates that the Trump Hotel was over-charging the inauguration committee for events to be held there. Gates ignored the warning, the lawsuit notes, and the committee struck a contract with the Trump Hotel for $1.03 million, an amount the lawsuit says that was far above the hotel’s own pricing guidelines.
Racine also alleges that Gates, with Ivanka’s knowledge, “allowed the [PIC’s] nonprofit funds to pay for a private after-hours party for the Trump family at their Hotel, even after [the PIC’s] staff initially canceled this event over concerns of improper use of funds.” In a legal filing in the case, Racine alleged that Donald Jr. also played an instrumental role in the purported misuse of charitable funds for this private Trump bash: “Attendance was by invitation only, and guests were limited to friends and family of the President-elect and guests of the Hotel.” And Racine adds, “Incredibly, the final decision to proceed with the event was not even made by the [inauguration committee], but by Donald Trump, Jr.” The event, according to Racine, cost $288,367. In legal filings, the attorney general has pointed out that Trump, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump each profit from Trump Hotel revenues.
Racine is looking to recover the nearly $1.1 million that he contends was improperly spent by the PIC and benefitted the Trump family. He is asking the DC Superior Court to direct those funds to another reputable nonprofit.
Mother Jones also notes that Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have already been caught testifying falsely in case depositions. Oh, and Allen Weisselberg, currently under indictment in New York’s tax fraud case against the Trump family business, is tied to this case, too!
You may recall that last year, Winston Wolkoff implicated Melania Trump, her former BFF, in the inaugural corruption. Winston Wolkoff also said she had been working with two other investigations into the inaugural grift, one of which was in New York. No case has yet been brought there or in New Jersey, the other locale, ABC News reported. It’s not clear what, if any, involvement Melania Trump will have in this case. However, Winston Wolkoff released a recording of Melania saying that her former pal was fired from the committee in order to protect higher ups.
Set your popcorn timer for February. That’s when ABC News says a hearing is scheduled to determine how the case will proceed.