Ivanka Trump questioned as part of inauguration fund lawsuit

Ivanka Trump has been questioned this week under oath as part of the Washington DC attorney general’s investigation into an alleged misuse of non-profit funds for her father Donald Trump’s inauguration four years ago.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine’s office disclosed in a court filing that the president’s eldest daughter and a senior White House adviser were interviewed on Tuesday by lawyers from the Washington DC attorney general’s office.

In a January 2020 lawsuit, Mr Racine claimed Mr Trump’s real estate business and other entities misused non-profit funds to enrich the Trump family.

Ivanka Trump at her father Donald Trump's inaugural parade in 2017
Image:Ivanka Trump with husband Jared Kushner and Melania Trump at her father’s inaugural parade in 2017

The office has filed a lawsuit alleging waste of non-profit funds and accuses the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee of making more than $1m (£750,000) in improper payments to the TrumpInternational Hotel in Washington during the week of the inauguration in 2017.

It is alleged that in one case, more than $300,000 (£224,000) was paid to hold a private reception at the hotel for the president’s three eldest children – Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric – on the evening of the inauguration on 20 January 2017.

The lawyers have subpoenaed records from Ms Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Thomas Barrack Jr, the chair of the inaugural committee who was also interviewed last month, and others.

“District law requires non-profits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies,” Mr Racine said earlier this year.

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His lawsuit seeks to recover the $1m that was allegedly funnelled directly to the Trump family business.

Ivanka Trump works as an adviser to her father
Image:Ivanka Trump works as an adviser to her father

Mr Racine is also accusing the committee of misusing non-profit funds and coordinating with the hotel’s management and members of the Trump family to arrange the events.

The committee has faced continuous scrutiny over its spending, particularly when it raised an unprecedented $107m (£80m) to host events celebrating Mr Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.

Alan Garten, from the Trump Organisation, said in a statement: “Ms Trump’s only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the hotel to charge a ‘fair market rate’, which the hotel did.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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