Last night, reports surfaced, indicating that the Trump inaugural committee was under criminal investigation. They’re looking into whether or not the committee “misspent some of the record $107 million it raised from donations….”
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.
One minor detail: Prosecutors haven’t reached out to the inaugural committee yet. In fact, the inaugural committee released a statement, denying any knowledge of an investigation. The statement said the committee was “not aware of any pending investigations and has not been contacted by any prosecutors. We simply have no evidence the investigation exists.”
The committee said its finances “were fully audited internally and independently and are fully accounted. Moreover, the inauguration’s accounting was provided both to the Federal Election Commission and the IRS in compliance with all laws and regulations. These were funds raised from private individuals and were then spent in accordance with the law and the expectations of the donors.”
Sarah Sanders also weighed in on the investigation.
“The president was focused on the transition and building out a new government and preparing to take office,” she told Martha MacCallum. “The role that the president had in the inauguration was to raise his hand and take the oath.” She added that Trump’s enemies were “going to plan – I would say Plan B, but this is more like Plan D or E or F to take this president down.”
To be continued…
h/t Fox News