Donald Trump

DC Lawsuit Against Trump's Inaugural Committee, Hotel to Go to Trial

The lawsuit accuses Trump's inaugural committee, the Trump International Hotel and the Trump Organization of abusing nonprofit funds to benefit the former president's family

A view outside Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. one day before the inauguration of Donald Trump Jan. 19, 2017, in Washington.
Noam Galai/WireImage, File

Washington, D.C.'s lawsuit against former President Donald Trump's inaugural committee and two other Trump entities will go to trial later this year, Attorney General Karl Racine announced Thursday.

The lawsuit accuses the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, or PIC, the Trump International Hotel and the Trump Organization of abusing $1.1 million in nonprofit funds to benefit the former president's family.

Racine said the trial will begin on September 26, 2022.

“My office is committed to standing up against corruption and abuses of public trust," Racine said in a news release. "That’s why we investigate, and, when the facts reveal flagrant violations of law, we sue. We look forward to proving our case in court. Cheaters should never prosper.”

The inaugural committee raised an unprecedented $107 million to host events celebrating Trump's inauguration in January 2017.

But the Office of the Attorney General filed suit against the PIC in 2020, alleging the PIC "grossly 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.

The lawsuit claims the committee rented hotel space for days it wouldn't be used and chose to book at the Trump Hotel even though other hotels offered free or cheaper alternatives. Ultimately, the hotel was paid about $1.03 million over four days from Jan. 17-20, 2017, according to the lawsuit.

The committee previously said its finances were independently audited and all money was spent in accordance with the law.

Under D.C. law, a nonprofit’s funds are a form of a public trust and cannot be spent to benefit a private individual or company—especially an individual who has influence over the organization, Racine's office said.

Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump blasted the attorney general's office for deposing her in the lawsuit in 2020.

"This 'inquiry' is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars," she said on social media.

Donald Trump Jr. was deposed a couple of months later. His testimony "raised further questions about the nature of" an invoice related to the inauguration, "and revealed evidence that Defendants had not yet produced to the District," court filings said.

The attorney general's office said it also uncovered evidence that the committee misused an additional $49,0000 in funds to pay off a bill Trump's family and friends incurred at the Loews Madison hotel during the week of the inauguration.

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