We’ve already seen many “chickens coming home to roost” stories since the election, and it’s been glorious, no doubt. But is anyone else experiencing a weird forgetfulness when it comes to all of the crimes and treason with the Trump family and assorted Trumpers? Like, there were so many crimes and so many people involved, I’m having a hard time remembering what So-and-So did with the Russian agent in the library with the candlestick. This one I do remember, mostly because I’ve been covering the ongoing shenanigans with Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former adviser to Melania Trump. Wolkoff wrote a tell-all book about Melania. Wolkoff also revealed that she’d kept all of the literal receipts, including recordings and paperwork, of all of the criminal and stupid sh-t around her. Well, Wolkoff was originally blamed for all of the strange spending around the 2017 Trump inauguration, but it was more complicated than that. So complicated that the DC attorney general had to depose Ivanka Trump yesterday:
Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter and adviser, sat for a deposition Tuesday with investigators from the Washington, DC, attorney general’s office as part of its lawsuit alleging the misuse of inaugural funds, according to a court filing.
In January, the DC attorney general’s office sued the Trump Organization and Presidential Inaugural Committee alleging they abused more than $1 million raised by the nonprofit by “grossly overpaying” for use of event space at the Trump hotel in Washington for the 2017 inauguration.
Depositions of witnesses as part of the lawsuit have been underway over the past several weeks.
Tom Barrack, chairman of the inaugural committee, was deposed on November 17, according to the court filing. The attorney general’s office has also subpoenaed records from Barrack, Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Rick Gates, the former inaugural committee deputy chairman, the filing said.
“Ms. Trump’s only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the hotel to charge a ‘fair market rate’, which the hotel did,” Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, said in a statement to CNN. According to the lawsuit, Gates “personally managed” discussions with the Trump hotel about event space.
In December 2016, Gates wrote to Ivanka Trump that he was “a bit worried about the optics of PIC [Presidential Inaugural Committee] paying Trump Hotel a high fee and the media making a big story out of it,” according to the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Gates agreed with the hotel’s managing director and Trump family members to pay $175,000 per day for the committee to reserve space for four days.
The committee’s own event planner — Stephanie Winston Wolkoff — advised against the transaction, telling the committee and the Trump family that the charges were at least twice the market rate, the lawsuit states. Wolkoff “noted unease with the offer during an in-person meeting with President-elect Trump and Ivanka Trump,” said DC Attorney General Karl Racine. She also sent a follow-up email to both Ivanka Trump and Gates to “express [her] concern,” according to the attorney general.
“The Inaugural Committee accepted the contract anyway,” the lawsuit alleges.
I feel fairly certain that Wolkoff has already provided all of the documentation she has to the DC attorney general, which is probably why they had enough to bring in Ivanka and Gates for depositions. And yes, Ivanka is just as bad as her father. The whole family has spent the past four years fleecing federal, state and local governments in this way, by forcing those governments to pay for security for Nazi rallies and price-gouging for renting out space in Trump-owned properties. It would not surprise me if Trump price-gouged the Secret Service throughout his term too, given that Secret Service agents had to stay in Trump-owned properties whenever Trump wanted to go golfing. That’s taxpayer money.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.