POLITICS

Washington DC Attorney General Subpoenas Trump Inaugural Committee

The president's inaugural committee is currently under criminal investigation for possible misspending of donations.

The District of Columbia’s attorney general has subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee for documents pertaining to how it managed $107 million in funds raised for the president’s swearing-in, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The subpoena from Attorney General Karl Racine is the latest attempt by prosecutors and lawyers to uncover potential wrongdoing by Trump’s inaugural committee, currently under criminal investigation for possible misspending of donations.

As a nonprofit organization, the inaugural committee is subject to certain statutes enforced by Racine’s office.

The subpoena states that investigators are looking into whether the inaugural committee’s funds “were wasted, mismanaged and/or improperly provided private benefit, causing the committee to exceed or abuse its authority or act contrary to its nonprofit purpose,” according to the Times.

Among the documents sought by the subpoena are any that show payments the committee made to the Trump International Hotel or the Trump Organization. 

It also seeks documents that could help identify the roles Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump played on the committee.

Trump’s inaugural committee raised a record $107 million, roughly twice as much as its predecessors, according to the Times.

A January Times report found that its expenses included $10,000 for makeup, $1.5 million funneled to the Trump International Hotel in Washington and $6.4 million spent on unused hotel rooms.

Another $26 million went to WIS Media Partners, a media company belonging to a close friend of first lady Melania Trump.

An investigation by WNYC and ProPublica earlier this month found evidence of potential tax law violations by the committee, including that it may have paid an above-market rate for event space at the Trump hotel.

Tax law prohibits nonprofits like inaugural committees from paying inflated prices to businesses owned by individuals who also control or influence the nonprofit’s operations.

Investigations into the inaugural committee’s spending arose in part from materials federal prosecutors seized in April during a raid on the office of then-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Cohen was sentenced to three years for lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws during Trump’s 2016 campaign, and spent Wednesday testifying before the House oversight committee.

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