The attorney general of the District of Columbia is still looking into whether Donald Trump’s inaugural committee spent more than $1 million unlawfully.
D.C. Superior Court Judge José López will now rule on a motion filed by attorney general Karl Racine, who argued that the evidence he’s already presented weighs heavily in his favor, similar to a summary judgment in a case against the Trump Foundation in 2018, which resulted in the dissolution of the ex-charity.
Investigators believe Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump, and others diverted funds from the inaugural committee to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which illegally overcharged the charity group for personal gain.
The case is still civil, but the attorney general’s investigators have the option of referring evidence of criminal behavior to law enforcement for prosecution, and they will continue to seek additional testimony from Don Jr.’s college friend Gentry Beach and former Trump Organization employee Kara Hanley.
Former Trump campaign member Rick Gates authorized bill collectors to invoice the inaugural committee, which eventually paid $49,358. Beach allegedly arranged a block of hotel rooms at Madison Washington D.C. for the Trump Organization, which never paid the bill.
According to investigators, Hanley, a former executive assistant for the Trump Organization, was also implicated in the plan.
Last Monday, Tom Barrack, the head of the inauguration committee and a close friend of the former president, was arrested and pleaded not guilty to accusations of surreptitiously lobbying for the United Arab Emirates.
Barrack, a private equity investor, and a close associate of Donald Trump’s pled not guilty to federal accusations of illegally influencing the former president on behalf of the United Arab Emirates on Monday through their lawyers in Brooklyn, New York.
During the arraignment, a judge upheld Barrack’s $250 million release bail, and his next court appearance was set for Sept. 2.
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Barrack, 74, was also ordered by Judge Sanket Bulsara to desist from flying on private planes and from performing any overseas financial transactions, as well as to limit his domestic financial transactions to $50,000 or less. Bulsara also advised Barrack not to communicate with UAE officials.
Barrack, who will remain in Aspen, Colorado, is only allowed to travel to southern California to see his children and to New York for court appearances under the terms of his bond. An electronic ankle band and GPS are used to track his compliance with the travel limitations.
Barrack was greeted by a man holding a sign that read “Traitor” in large black letters as he entered the courthouse before his arraignment.
That was the same message that greeted Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his ally Roger Stone during their federal criminal cases, which both resulted in convictions.
When Trump pardoned both men shortly before leaving office, their convictions were overturned.