Ivanka Trump questioned under oath in trial over use of groundbreaking funds

(Reuters) – Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and advisor, was questioned under oath this week in a civil lawsuit alleging embezzlement at a nonprofit for Donald Trump’s inauguration four years ago .

The office of District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine revealed in a court file Tuesday that the deposition took place that day.

In a January 2020 lawsuit, Racine claimed that Donald Trump’s real estate business and other entities abused nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family.

According to the lawsuit, a tax-exempt nonprofit called the 58th Presidential Inauguration Committee coordinated with the Trump family to overpay for event space at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

Racine’s lawsuit alleged that in one case the nonprofit paid more than $ 300,000 to host a private reception at the Trump Hotel for the president’s three oldest children – Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric – the opening night of January 20, 2017.

“District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for stated public purposes, not for the benefit of individuals or businesses,” Racine said earlier this year.

His lawsuit is aimed at recovering the million dollars that would have gone directly to the Trump family business.

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The inaugural committee said its finances were independently audited and all the money was spent legally.

Although campaign finance laws restrict the size of campaign contributions, groundbreaking committees can accept unlimited donations, including from corporations. The $ 107 million raised by Trump’s inaugural committee, chaired by real estate developer and investor Thomas Barrack, was the largest in history, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

Former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates was vice chairman of the inaugural committee.

Gates was one of many Trump associates convicted in connection with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Peter Cooney

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