WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior White House adviser said Thursday that she was deposed for more than five hours by attorneys alleging that the president’s 2017 inauguration committee misused donor funds — an inquiry Ivanka Trump claimed is a “waste of taxpayer dollars.”
The Washington, D.C., attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit alleging the committee made more than $1 million in improper payments to the president’s Washington, D.C., hotel during the week of the inauguration in 2017.
Trump’s inaugural committee spent more than $1 million to book a ballroom at the Trump International Hotel as part of a scheme to “grossly overpay” for party space and enrich the president’s own family in the process, the District of Columbia’s attorney general, Karl Racine, alleges.
Ivanka Trump, who was deposed on Tuesday, tweeted that she gave attorneys from the D.C. attorney general’s office an email she wrote on Dec. 14, 2016, where she instructed the Trump hotel to charge a “fair market rate,” which she said the the hotel did.
“This ‘inquiry’ is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars,” she tweeted.
Her deposition on Tuesday was first reported by CNN.
As part of the suit, the attorneys have subpoenaed records from Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Thomas Barrack Jr., a close friend of the president who chaired the inaugural committee, and others. Barrack was deposed last month.
Racine has accused the committee of misusing nonprofit funds and coordinating with the hotel’s management and members of the Trump family to arrange the events.
“District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies,” Racine has said. “In this case, we are seeking to recover the nonprofit funds that were improperly funneled directly to the Trump family business.”
The committee raised an unprecedented $107 million to host events celebrating Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, but its spending has drawn continued scrutiny.
In a statement, Alan Garten with the Trump Organization said that “Ms. Trump’s only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the hotel to charge a ‘fair market rate,’ which the hotel did.”