Report: Trump Inaugural Committee Lawyers Were Just Subpoenaed

Posted: Feb 04, 2019 7:47 PM
Report: Trump Inaugural Committee Lawyers Were Just Subpoenaed

The lawyers for President Donald Trump's inaugural committee on Monday received a subpoena from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to a previous WSJ report, the U.S. attorney was investigating whether or not the committee misspent some of the $107 million raised from donations. The subpoena requests all documents related to the committee’s donors and spending. 

From the WSJ:

The criminal probe by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, which is in its early stages, also is examining whether some of the committee’s top donors gave money in exchange for access to the incoming Trump administration, policy concessions or to influence official administration positions, some of the people said.

Giving money in exchange for political favors could run afoul of federal corruption laws. Diverting funds from the organization, which was registered as a nonprofit, could also violate federal law.

The investigation represents another potential legal threat to people who are or were in Mr. Trump’s orbit. Their business dealings and activities during and since the campaign have led to a number of indictments and guilty pleas. Many of the president’s biggest campaign backers were involved in the inaugural fund.

The investigation partly arises out of materials seized in the federal probe of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s business dealings, according to people familiar with the matter.

In April raids of Mr. Cohen’s home, office and hotel room, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents obtained a recorded conversation between Mr. Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to Melania Trump, who worked on the inaugural events. In the recording, Ms. Wolkoff expressed concern about how the inaugural committee was spending money, according to a person familiar with the Cohen investigation.

The committee acknowledged the subpoena in a statement.

“We have just received a subpoena for documents. While we are still reviewing the subpoena, it is our intention to cooperate with the inquiry," the committee's spokesperson told the WSJ.