Unpopular President Donald Trump had one of the most poorly attended inaugurations in recent memory. Of course, while Trump’s ego was subsequently stroked by his minions lying about the throngs of people who were supposedly excited to see him, the really important event attendees were wealthy and willing to pay for access to the newly elected white supremacist in chief. WNYC and ProPublica report that a new lawsuit claims that both Ivanka and Donald Trump were aware that their personal businesses were improperly making money by price-gouging the Trump inaugural committee.
The civil complaint, filed on behalf of the District of Columbia by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, details the objections of staffers to exorbitant pricing for the use of Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel ballroom space—specifically event planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s concerns, which were allegedly brought directly to then President-elect Trump and his daughter. According to the document, Donald Trump said Ivanka would handle everything and make it right.
Wolkoff’s concerns and warning via email to the Trumps—“These events are in [the president-elect’s] honor at his hotel and one of them is for family and close friends. Please take into consideration that when this is audited it will become public knowledge”—were not heeded. On Jan. 10, 2017, Trump’s inaugural committee agreed to a contract that would enrich the Trumps at a rate of $175,000 per day—more than twice the amount per day that Wolkoff told Ivanka and Rick Gates, the deputy to the inaugural chairman, should be paid—for the use of their own space. According to the lawsuit, the charges included rental fees for days when the Trumps weren’t throwing any events.
Donald has said he was too busy dealing with the transition to worry about the inauguration, and Ivanka has said she was only around for an initial meeting, but Racine has email receipts showing that Ivanka was very much privy to Wolkoff’s concerns.
The stories of financial fraud carried out by Trump and his inaugural committee have slowly dribbled out over the past couple of years. Big-ticket items are being investigated by federal prosecutors in New York, with subpoenas getting sent out as investigators try to figure out how all of this money, around $107 million from private “donors,” was being spent, and who was pocketing it.
The complaint asks that at least one million dollars be put into a trust and “be restored to a proper public purpose by directing the funds to another nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting civic engagement of the citizens of the United States of America.”