Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds
Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter and a senior White House adviser, was deposed on Tuesday by investigators from the Washington, D.C., attorney general’s office as part of a lawsuit alleging the misuse of inauguration funds, CNN reported.
The D.C. attorney general in January sued the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC), accusing the groups of misusing more than $1 million raised by the PIC by “grossly overpaying” to use event space at the Trump hotel in D.C. for the 2017 inauguration.
Rick Gates, the former inaugural committee deputy chairman, allegedly “personally managed” discussions with the Trump hotel regarding the event spaces used.
According to the lawsuit Gates wrote Ivanka Trump in December 2016 saying he was “a bit worried about the optics of PIC paying Trump Hotel a high fee and the media making a big story out of it.”
The lawsuit also claimed that Gates agreed to pay $175,000 to reserve the space for four days, a decision the committee’s planner, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, reportedly advised against, stating that the asking price was at least double the market rate.
According to D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, Wolkoff “noted unease with the offer during an in-person meeting with President-elect Trump and Ivanka Trump” and told them of her concerns. Despite that, the contract was accepted.
Sources familiar with the matter told CNN that Wolkoff is scheduled to be deposed next week.
Tom Barrack, chairman of the inaugural committee, was also deposed on Nov. 17 CNN reports.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that President Trump had discussed the possibility of issuing pardons for his children and son-in-law Jared Kushner before he leaves office. Trump pardoned his former national security advisor Michael Flynn last week. Flynn had pleaded guilty to federal crimes.
Trump has also reportedly discussed the possibility of pardoning himself, with many top allies allegedly asking the president to preemptively issue them pardons as well. If Trump succeeds in pardoning himself, his immunity would apply only to federal crimes.
–Updated on Dec. 3 at 8:00 p.m.