There has been a lot of reporting about Trump inaugural committee’s strange sources of funding and the equally strange manner the funds were spent. The biggest bombshells surrounding Trump’s inaugural funds were the revelations that (1) a staggering $40 million out of the record $107 million raised remains unaccounted for and (2) that $26 million of inaugural funds were used to pay a month-old company registered to First Lady Melania’s friend Stephanie Wolkoff for “planning services”.
Strangely left out of the Trump inaugural controversy however is an equally significant if not bigger bombshell, that Trump Hotel DC overcharged Trump’s own inaugural for rooms, meals and event space and crucially, that it was Trump’s daughter Ivanka who negotiated the exorbitant prices. Yeah, you heard that right folks—Trump’s DC hotel overcharged his own inaugural for rooms, meals and event space–basically Trump taking money from his inaugural and stuffing it in his pockets. Sickening corruption!!
Propublica’s Justin Elliot said on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett, “A top planner in the inaugural committee expressed concerns to several people including Ivanka Trump saying the rate that the Trump Hotel is trying to charge the inaugural committee is way too high and essentially she said this is not going to look good when it becomes public. They were proposing to charge $175,000 a day for a ballroom rental in the Trump Hotel down in Washington.”
We[Propublica] also didn’t know that Ivanka Trump was involved in some kind of pricing negotiation between the inaugural committee on one hand and her company Trump Organization on the other……….It’s not clear where they ended up…….it’s also not clear the total amount of money the Trump Organization ultimately got….Another issue here is if they[inaugural] were overcharged it could actually be a violation of tax law. Because Trump was an influential person in the inaugural committee, his business is not allowed to be overcharging the inaugural committee for services. That could actually be a legal violation.“
The top planner who advised against Trump Hotel overcharging the inaugural was apparently Melania’s friend Stephanie Wolkoff–the woman behind the $26 million payday. Turns out according to this reporting, Stephanie Wolkoff is not that corrupt after all—you get a few brownie points for this Stephanie. We still need to know however, exactly what happened with your $26 million pay.
It bears repeating here that Propublica’s Justin Elliot argues Trump may have broken the law—violated tax law. OutfrontCNN’s host Erin Burnett citing a New York Times piece, said a criminal investigation has been launched into the source of Trump inaugural funds. Specifically, Burnett said, “The New York Times reported that the [Trump] inaugural committee is under criminal investigation for possibly taking illegal foreign donations….” Given this bombshell reporting, it is incumbent upon these investigators to also look into whether Trump violated tax law by lining his pockets with inaugural funds as the Propublica reporter argues.
Bottom line folks, there’s but no question that the Trump administration is hands down, the most corrupt in U.S. history. Just looking at Trump’s inauguration alone, we have a situation where they potentially accepted illegal foreign donations $40 million of which have disappeared, $26 million of which went to his wife’s pal, and now his daughter Ivanka is credibly accused of helping him overcharge his own inaugural—the kind of third world-style corruption America has always fought against. Democrats must make the fight against corruption a centerpiece of their 2020 campaign message. This is beyond ridiculous.
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