DC attorney general deposes Donald Trump Jr. for inaugural funds lawsuit
The former president and his family are accused of 'abusing nonprofit funds.'
Donald Trump Jr. found himself in the hot seat on February 11 when he was deposed by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine as part of the district’s lawsuit alleging misuse of Trump’s inaugural funds.
The new court filing released Wednesday states that Trump Jr.’s deposition “raised further questions about the nature” of a hotel invoice at the center of Racine’s investigation. The Trump Organization and Trump’s Inaugural Committee are accused of “abusing nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family” by overpaying for event space at the family’s hotel in D.C.
Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump serve as executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization, and both are facing criticism for their handling of the family business. Trump Jr. answered questions at the deposition about a contract signed by the Trump Organization for a block of rooms totaling $49,358.92 at the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington during the week of the 2017 inauguration, CNN reports.
Trump Jr.’s former executive assistant was reportedly the point of contact for the room-block contract. The authorizing signature on the contract was also a close friend of the former president’s son. The invoice for the rooms was paid by Trump’s inaugural committee in July 2017, according to the report.
Trump Jr.’s deposition comes two months after his sister, former White House advisor Ivanka Trump, was deposed in the case.
theGRIO previously reported, the AG subpoenaed records from Tom Barrack, chairman of the inaugural committee., Ivanka, first lady Melania Trump, and Rick Gates, the former inaugural committee deputy chairman. Gates, who managed the hotel’s event space, testified that he was told by Gentry Beach, chief of staff for Trump, Jr., that the rooms were for supporters who had donated to the PIC and so “the hotel bill should be paid by PIC,” according to Gates’ deposition.
But Trump Jr. offered a different take, noting that the rooms were “associated with the campaign or with the Trump family,” according to the attorney general’s office.
“For example, Mr. Trump testified that one individual was a friend from college, one was a Trump family driver, another was a New York socialite from the Real Housewives of New York who is also a Trump family friend,” the filing states.
Several witnesses have been deposed in the case, and they “gave inconsistent accounts of the purpose of the contract and why the PIC agreed to pay it, and none of the witnesses gave a complete or accurate account of the circumstances surrounding the invoice,” Racine’s office wrote in the filing.
Racine seeks to recover the money paid to the hotel and redirect the funds to “suitable nonprofit purposes.”
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