DC attorney general deposes Ivanka Trump in inauguration lawsuit
The president's daughter allegedly used nonprofit money to reserve space at her family's D.C. hotel
Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, was grilled by investigators at the attorney general’s office in Washington, D.C. about her alleged involment in the misuse of more than $1 million in nonprofit money.
The AG’s office sued the Trump Organization and Presidential Inaugural Committee in January for allegedly using money raised to “grossly” overpay for use of event space at the Trump hotel in Washington for the 2017 inauguration.
On Tuesday, Ivanka, a top advisor to the president, was questioned under oath by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, CNN reports. She was not the only person deposed, according to Reuters. Several witnesses were questioned in November, including Tom Barrack, chairman of the inaugural committee.
The AG subpoenaed records from Barrack, Ivanka, first lady Melania Trump, and Rick Gates, the former inaugural committee deputy chairman. Gates, who personally managed the hotel’s event space, was particularly worried about Trump’s spending, according to the lawsuit.
In December 2016, Gates wrote to Trump, “[I am] a bit worried about the optics of [Presidential Inaugural Committee] paying Trump Hotel a high fee and the media making a big story out of it.”
Encouraged by the Trump family and the hotel’s managing director, Gates paid $175,000 per day for the Presidential Inaugural Committee just so the event space could be reserved for four days.
The committee’s event planner, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who wrote a memoir about Melania Trump, objected the charges, noting that they were at least twice the market rate, according to the lawsuit.
Wolkoff is expected to be deposed by Racine next week, sources tell CNN. The lawsuit states that the author felt “unease with the offer during an in-person meeting with President-elect Trump and Ivanka Trump,” and that she wrote a follow up email to Trump and Gates to “express [her] concern,” Racine said.
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