According to a “bombshell” report from the Wall Street Journal, President Trump’s inaugural committee is under criminal investigation. They’re looking into whether or not the committee “misspent some of the record $107 million it raised from donations….”
NEW: Federal prosecutors are investigating the $107 million raised by Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee, including whether any donors gave money to influence official administration positions.
— Nicole Hong (@nicole_hong) December 13, 2018
More from the report:
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 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.
Another important detail: Prosecutors haven’t reached out to the inaugural committee yet.
“We are not aware of any evidence the investigation the Journal is reporting actually exists,” a lawyer familiar with the case told WSJ.
The inaugural committee has publicly identified vendors accounting for $61 million of the $103 million it spent, and it hasn’t provided details on those expenses, according to tax filings. As a nonprofit organization, the fund is only required to make public its top five vendors.
It’s something to keep an eye on.