Loading...

Judge Reinstates DC Lawsuit Against Trump Organization

February 18, 2022 by Tom Ramstack
<strong></img>Judge Reinstates DC Lawsuit Against Trump Organization</strong>
(Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — In a week of legal crises for Donald Trump, a judge in Washington, D.C., on Thursday set Sept. 26 for the trial date in a lawsuit the District of Columbia’s attorney general filed against the former president’s 2017 inaugural committee.

Washington, D.C., Superior Court Judge Yvonne Williams reinstated the lawsuit after an earlier dismissal. 

She also ruled the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer could be deposed as a witness. 

Attorney General Karl Racine accuses the Presidential Inaugural Committee of misusing $1.1 million in charitable funds for business transactions. If true, it would be a violation of the District of Columbia’s Nonprofit Corporation Act, which restricts nonprofit organization spending to charitable purposes.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is registered as a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. The Trump Organization is registered as a corporation in New York.

“No one is above the law, and we’re now going to trial to hold Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee accountable for illegally using nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family,” Racine said in a statement.

A summary of the lawsuit posted on Racine’s website says the Presidential Inaugural Committee “misused charitable funds to dramatically overpay the Trump Hotel for event space, throw a private party for the Trump children and pay a private debt owed by the Trump Organization.”

Intermingling of campaign funds and personal finances also is forbidden by the Federal Election Commission.

“Cheaters should never prosper,” Racine said.

The Trump Organization’s attorneys argued the two people who purchased the event space and signed the contracts for other transactions lacked authority to act for the inaugural committee.

The inaugural committee was not named as a party to the contract for the event space rental at the Trump International Hotel and a second hotel in downtown Washington. Nevertheless, the committee later paid a $50,000 bill for rental of some of the space.

Judge Williams ruled additional fact-finding is needed on the question of the employees’ authority to act for the Trump Organization.

The lawsuit asks the court to seize any amounts of money that might have been improperly paid to the Trump International Hotel, then distribute it to “nonprofit entities dedicated to promoting civic engagement.”

The judge’s ruling came days after Mazars, the Trump Organization’s long-time accounting firm, served notice it no longer would work as the organization’s accountants.

A letter from Mazars to the Trump Organization cited a “non-waivable conflict of interest.”

On the same day as the court ruling in Washington, a New York judge ordered Trump and his two children to submit to questioning in a deposition by the state attorney general’s office.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the former president’s business practices.

“In the final analysis, a state attorney general commences investigating a business entity, uncovers copious evidence of possible financial fraud, and wants to question, under oath, several of the entities’ principals, including its namesake. She has the clear right to do so,” 1st Judicial District Judge Arthur F. Engoron wrote in his ruling.

Tom can be reached at tom@thewellnews.com

In The News

Health

Voting

Litigation

August 4, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Golfers Sue Under Antitrust Laws to Compete in Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON — Eleven pro golfers led by six-time major champion Phil Mickelson on Wednesday challenged their suspension from competing in... Read More

WASHINGTON — Eleven pro golfers led by six-time major champion Phil Mickelson on Wednesday challenged their suspension from competing in the United States after they participated in the Saudi-financed LIV Golf series. Their antitrust lawsuit filed in San Francisco, California, carries potential broad implications for the... Read More

July 28, 2022
by Dan McCue
Notice of Appeal Filed in Marjorie Taylor Greene Ballot Case

ATLANTA — The epic and so far wholly unsuccessful battle to keep Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., off the November... Read More

ATLANTA — The epic and so far wholly unsuccessful battle to keep Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., off the November ballot took another turn Thursday afternoon as the plaintiffs in the case filed a notice of appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. In a statement provided... Read More

July 22, 2022
by Dan McCue
Dem Super PAC Claims FEC is Failing to Corral Trump 2024 Expenditures

WASHINGTON — A Democratic super PAC sued the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday claiming the agency failed to act on... Read More

WASHINGTON — A Democratic super PAC sued the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday claiming the agency failed to act on its charge that former President Donald Trump is making expenditures to advance a 2024 presidential bid without formally declaring his candidacy. The AB PAC, originally known... Read More

July 14, 2022
by Dan McCue
North Carolina Green Party Sues State for Ballot Access

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Green Party sued the state Board of Elections on Thursday, asking a judge to... Read More

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Green Party sued the state Board of Elections on Thursday, asking a judge to force party candidates onto the 2022 ballot despite an ongoing investigation into allegedly fraudulent signatures in the paperwork of the party’s candidates. The filing came just... Read More

July 5, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Drug Distributors Win Lawsuit Accusing Them of Opioid Abuse

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on Monday ruled in favor of drug distribution companies accused... Read More

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on Monday ruled in favor of drug distribution companies accused in a lawsuit of creating a public nuisance by distributing opioids that kill thousands of Americans each year. The judge said his ruling is "not based... Read More

July 5, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
States Try to Overturn New Federal Fuel Efficiency Standards

WASHINGTON — A lawsuit filed last week by predominantly Republican states says the U.S. Department of Transportation exceeded its authority... Read More

WASHINGTON — A lawsuit filed last week by predominantly Republican states says the U.S. Department of Transportation exceeded its authority with new stricter fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas and Utah are among states asking a federal court in Washington, D.C., to overturn... Read More

News From The Well