Trump’s inauguration corruption case with Ivanka and Don Jr. goes ahead – Mother Jones

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Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. listen as their father speaks during a campaign rally.Evan Vucci / AP

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Donald Trump’s growing legal concerns over investigations in New York and Scotland have drawn a lot of attention in recent months. But a Trump case that accused his 2016 inauguration committee and the Trump organization of a million dollar joke has been going on for nearly two years without much notice, and this week a judge issued a key ruling indicating that the The case is likely to be in court. And that could mean Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who were each deposed in that civil case, land on the witness stand and questioned about their involvement in an allegedly brazen rip-off of charitable funds.

In January 2020, Washington, DC attorney general Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inaugural Committee (a not-for-profit organization called the PIC). He claimed the PIC misused charitable funds to enrich the Trump family. As Racine put it, “The founding committee, a not-for-profit company, coordinated with the Trump family to grossly overpay for the function rooms at the Trump International Hotel … [at the Trump Hotel] for the Trump family, which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. ”In a way, Racine said 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 has centered on several of the key players in Trumpworld. Racine has heard testimony from Tom Barrack, the investor and Trump buddy who chaired the inauguration committee (arrested this summer and charged with illegal lobbying for the United Arab Emirates); Rick Gates, the former vice chairman of the committee who subsequently pleaded guilty to two charges arising from the Trump-Russia investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller; and two of Trump’s adult children: Ivanka and Donald Jr.

According to Racine’s investigation, both Ivanka and Donald Jr. were involved in deliberations related to the alleged misuse of funds. The lawsuit alleges Ivanka knew the PIC overcharged the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC for event space during its inauguration in January 2017 Concerns with President-elect Ivanka and Gates that the Trump Hotel had the inauguration committee for there Events to be held asking too much. Gates ignored the warning, the lawsuit notes, and the committee signed a deal with the Trump Hotel for $ 1.03 million, an amount that the lawsuit said was well above the hotel’s own pricing guidelines.

Racine also claims that, with Ivanka’s knowledge, Gates “the [PIC’s] Charitable Funds To Pay For A Private After Hour Party For The Trump Family At Their Hotel, Also According To [the PIC’s] The staff initially canceled the event because of concerns about the misuse of the funds. ”In a lawsuit in the case, Racine alleged that Donald Jr. was also instrumental in the alleged misuse of charity funds for this private Trump party:“ Attendance was by invitation only, and guests were limited to friends and family of the President-elect and guests of the hotel. “Adds Racine,” Incredibly, the final decision to proceed with the event was not even made by them [inauguration committee], but by Donald Trump, Jr. “The event cost $ 288,367, according to Racine. In legal records, the attorney general has indicated that Trump, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump each benefit from the Trump hotel’s revenues.

Racine is trying to get back the nearly $ 1.1 million he claims was unfairly spent by the PIC and benefited the Trump family. He is asking the DC Superior Court to transfer these funds to another reputable nonprofit organization.

On Monday, DC Superior Court Judge José López passed a ruling that rejected part of Racine’s case and ordered the New York City-based Trump organization to be removed from the lawsuit due to jurisdiction issues. He did, however, allow the case to be brought to court to determine if the PIC payments to the Trump Hotel violated the law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from making payments that benefit a private individual who is not under the Public interest objectives of the nonprofit organization falls.

“Racine sued Donald Trump’s inaugural committee for misusing charitable funds to enrich the Trump family,” said Marrisa Geller, a Racine spokeswoman. “It is a big deal that our lawsuit is moving forward and is on trial. The founding committee has used more than $ 1 million in charitable funds to improperly serve private interests. We cannot allow those in power to get away with money to illegally enrich themselves and their families. “

The case has already cast a negative light on Ivanka Trump and Donald Jr. As Mother jones As previously reported, evidence presented in the lawsuit indicated that Trump Jr. was false testimony on key points during his testimony. Ivanka also gave inaccurate testimony in her testimony. If either of the two is named as a witness at the trial, prosecutors could highlight these discrepancies.

A file in the case also linked Allen Weisselberg, the Trump organization’s chief financial officer, to the Trump introductory scandal. When the 2017 PIC expenditure was questioned in a press report, Barrack brought in Weißelberg to oversee the organization’s own internal auditing. That was strange because Weisselberg was an executive at a company that had received a lot of money from the PIC. Weißelberg is now a key figure in the Trump Organization’s criminal and civil investigations conducted by the New York Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney. In July, Weißelberg and the Trump Organization were charged with widespread tax fraud allegations. (A prosecutor in this case alleged that the 15-year tax program was “orchestrated by the top executives” in the Trump business.)

The alleged details of the Trump introductory scandal fit into the established pattern of the Trump family of abusing tax regulations and foundation funds for their own benefit. With López’s decision, the Trump organization slipped out of Racine’s reach. But now, the DC attorney general is likely to get a chance to prove the essence of his case: the Trump clan is a kleptocracy.


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