District of Columbia Sues Inaugural Committee, Alleging Abuse of Funds

January 23, 2020 by Dan McCue
Drinks at the bar of the Trump International Hotel. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The District of Columbia is suing the Trump inaugural committee and the two companies that control the Trump International Hotel here, accusing them of abusing nonprofit funds to benefit the president’s family.

The city’s attorney general, Karl Racine, announced the filing of the complaint in D.C. Superior Court via Twitter.

The 18-page complaint alleges the inaugural committee violated its nonprofit status by spending more than $1 million to book a ballroom at Trump’s D.C. hotel that staff knew was overpriced and barely used.

The contract called for the committee to book the ballroom for about $175,000 a day plus more than $300,000 in food and beverage costs in the lead-up to Trump’s January 2017 inauguration.

Racine alleges it “abandoned this purpose and violated District law when it wasted approximately $1 million of charitable funds in overpayment for the use of event space at the Trump hotel.”

“These charges were unreasonable and improperly served to enrich” Trump’s business, the complaint reads.

He alleges that Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, were likely aware of the charges, based on documents Racine subpoenaed from the committee and the Trump Organization.

D.C. law requires that nonprofit organizations not operate for the purpose of generating profits for private individuals.

In the lawsuit, Racine, a Democrat, asked for an order from D.C. Superior Court directing that the money be returned and given to charities promoting civic engagement.

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