Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is making a potentially devastating claim against President Donald Trump and his family. New details are surfacing with the AG claiming they misused non-profit funds to enrich the president’s family business.
This allegedly done through the presidential inaugural committee in excess of $1 million. Event planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff reportedly raised concerns directly with Donald and Ivanka Trump that Trump International Hotel in Washington was trying to overcharge the inaugural committee.
The suit claims, “Winston Wolkoff met with President-elect Trump and Ivanka Trump and discussed these concerns with both individuals.” In addition, “The President-elect acknowledged these concerns and directed that Ivanka Trump would handle this issue.”
AG Racine told, “District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies.”
Marcus Owens, former head of the division of the Internal Revenue Service that oversees nonprofits added, “The fact that the inaugural committee did business with the Trump Organization raises huge ethical questions about the potential for undue enrichment.”
While Wolkoff would write via email to Ivanka Trump and ex-Deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, “These events are in PE’s [the president-elect’s] honor at his hotel and one of them is for family and close friends.” Along with, “Please take into consideration that when this is audited it will become public knowledge.”
Less than two weeks before Trump’s inauguration day, his inaugural committee finalized its contract with the hotel at $175,000 per day, over Wolkoff’s objections. And further it is alleged the committee was also charged for days when it wasn’t even using the space, the suit says.
One event, costing more than $300,000, was a private reception at the Trump hotel was alleged to be “benefiting only the children of the President,” the complaint charged. “DJT is not expected to attend but was more for you, Don and Eric,” that declared.
Though a representative of Trump Hotels called the suit a “PR stunt” in a statement. “The AG’s claims are false, intentionally misleading and riddled with inaccuracies. The rates charged by the hotel were completely in line with what anyone else would have been charged for an unprecedented event of this enormous magnitude and were reflective of the fact that [sic] hotel had just recently opened, possessed superior facilities and was centrally located on Pennsylvania Avenue. The AG’s after the fact attempt to regulate what discounts it believes the hotel should have provided as well as the timing of this complaint reeks of politics and is a clear PR stunt.”
This allegation most likely will be receiving much more attention in days to follow.