Trump inauguration corruption case involving Ivanka and Don Jr. goes on – Mother Jones

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Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. listen to their father speak at an election rally.Evan Vucci / AP

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Donald Trump’s growing legal concerns stemming from investigations in New York and Scotland have received a lot of attention in recent months. But a Trump case, in which his 2016 inauguration committee and the Trump Organization were accused of a million-dollar scam, has been going on for nearly two years without attracting much attention, and this week a judge ruled. an important ruling indicating that the case is likely to go to trial. And that could mean that Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who have each been deposed in this civil lawsuit, could end up in the stand and questioned about their involvement in an alleged brazen scam of nonprofit funds.

In January 2020, Karl Racine, the attorney general of Washington, DC, filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inaugural Committee (the inauguration committee of Trump, a nonprofit organization known as PIC). He said the PIC abused charitable funds to enrich the Trump family. like Racine put it on, “The Inaugural Committee, a nonprofit corporation, coordinated with the Trump family to overpay for event space in the Trump International Hotel … The Committee also misused nonprofit funds to throw a private party. [at the Trump Hotel] for the Trump family which costs several hundred thousand dollars. ”In a way, Racine was saying that one of the Trump gang’s first post-election actions was to illegally use the inauguration to make money, a lot of money.

The case focused on some of Trumpworld’s key players. Racine took the depositions of Tom Barrack, Trump’s investor and friend who chaired the inauguration committee (and who was arrested and accused this summer of illegal lobbying for the UAE); Rick Gates, the former vice chairman of the committee, who later pleaded guilty to two charges stemming from Special Adviser Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; and two of Trump’s adult children: Ivanka and Donald Jr.

According to Racine’s investigation, both Ivanka and Donald Jr. have been involved in deliberations related to the alleged misuse of funds. The lawsuit alleges that Ivanka knew the PIC was overloading the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC, for event space during the inauguration in January 2017. Documents show that during the organization of the inauguration, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, one of the major producers of the event, raised concerns with President-elect, Ivanka, and Gates that the Trump Hotel was overloading the inauguration committee for the events to be held there. Gates ignored the warning, notes the lawsuit, and the committee entered into a contract with the Trump Hotel for $ 1.03 million, an amount that cause says which was way above the hotel’s pricing guidelines.

Racine further argues that Gates, with Ivanka’s knowledge, “allowed the [PIC’s] nonprofit funds to pay for an after-hours private party for the Trump family at their hotel, even afterward [the PIC’s] staff initially canceled this event out of concerns of misuse of funds. ”In a lawyer deposit In the case, Racine said Donald Jr. also played a role in the alleged misuse of charitable funds for this private Trump party: “Attendance was by invitation only and guests were limited to the president’s friends and family. elected and to the guests. of the hotel. ” And Racine adds: “Incredibly, the final decision to proceed with the event wasn’t even made by [inauguration committee], but by Donald Trump, Jr. ”The event, according to Racine, cost $ 288,367. In legal documents, the Attorney General pointed out that Trump, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump each profit from the Trump Hotel’s revenues.

Racine is trying to recoup the nearly $ 1.1 million he believes was misused by the PIC and benefited the Trump family. He’s asking the DC Superior Court to direct those funds to another reputable nonprofit organization.

On Monday, DC Supreme Court Justice José López delivered a ruling that cleared part of Racine’s case, ordering the New York City-based Trump Organization to be withdrawn from the lawsuit due to jurisdictional issues. But it allowed the case to proceed to a process to determine whether PIC payments to the Trump Hotel violated the law prohibiting tax-exempt organizations from making payments for the benefit of a private individual not covered by the organization’s public interest objectives. -profit.

“Racine is suing Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee for abusing nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family,” said Marrisa Geller, a spokesperson for Racine. “It’s a big deal that our case goes ahead and goes to court. The Inaugural Committee misused more than $ 1 million on nonprofit funds to illegally benefit from private interests. We cannot allow those in power to get away with using money to illegally enrich themselves and their families ”.

The case has already put Ivanka Trump and Donald Jr in a negative light. How Mother Jones previously reported, the evidence presented in the lawsuit indicated that Trump Jr. testified false on crucial points during his deposition. also Ivanka, witnessed incorrectly during his deposition. If either is called as a witness in the trial, prosecutors could point out these discrepancies.

A deposit also in case tied up Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, on the Trump inauguration scandal. When PIC’s spending was called into question in the news report in 2017, Barrack called Weisselberg to oversee the organization’s internal audit. It was strange, given that Weisselberg was a senior official of a company that had received a large amount of money from the PIC. Weisselberg is now a key figure in the Trump Organization’s criminal and civilian investigations carried out by the New York Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney. In July, Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were indicted on allegations of tax fraud. (A prosecutor in that case said the 15-year tax regime was “orchestrated by the senior executives” of the Trump company.)

The alleged details of the Trump inauguration scandal fit the well-established model of the Trump family abusing the fiscal Code Other foundation funds for your own gain. With the López ruling, the Trump Organization escaped Racine’s grasp. But now the DC Attorney General will presumably have a chance to prove the essence of his case: the Trump clan is a kleptocracy.

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