It has become clear especially in the last weak that Mr. Trump and his eldest children are going to have to answer for their crimes soon. Now that Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and the president is directly implicated in his felony charges, the outlook is grim for the Trump family.
On Friday, it was reported that Ivanka Trump is now facing serious legal trouble as a result of tax crimes which were carried out during an inauguration scam. It came out this year that Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee raised and spent unprecedented amounts, making people wonder where all of that money went.
Apparently, it went to Trump himself. The Inauguration paid the Trump Organization for rooms, meals, and event space at the company’s Washington hotel. According to New York Public Radio:
‘During the planning, Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s eldest daughter and a senior executive with the Trump Organization, was involved in negotiating the price the hotel charged the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee for venue rentals. A top inaugural planner emailed Ivanka and others at the company to “express my concern” that the hotel was overcharging for its event spaces, worrying of what would happen “when this is audited.”’
The Trump Organization could likely be in violation of the tax law if the Trump hotel charged more than the going rate for the venues. Marcus Owens, the former head of the division of the Internal Revenue Service that oversees nonprofits, said:
‘The fact that the inaugural committee did business with the Trump Organization raises huge ethical questions about the potential for undue enrichment.’
Rick Gates, who was the deputy to chairman of the Inaugural at the time, asked some vendors to accept payments directly from the donors rather than through the committee which is somewhat alarming. Vendors were skeptical and thought this was unusual. They all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they signed confidentiality agreements, and it wasn’t clear whether any vendors actually took him up on his request.
On Thursday, it was reported by The Wall Street Journal that federal prosecutors in New York have opened a criminal investigation into whether the inaugural committee misspent money and whether donors gave in return for political favors.
As far as Ivanka’s role, Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump’s ethics lawyer, said:
‘When contacted by someone working on the inauguration, Ms. Trump passed the inquiry on to a hotel official and said only that any resulting discussions should be at a ‘fair market rate.’ Ms. Trump was not involved in any additional discussions.’
A large amount of $40 million dollars is still unaccounted for by the inaugural committee, and how the committee managed to spend all the money it raised remains a mystery since an inaugural committee is only required to detail its top five contractors when reporting their spending.
One of the lead organizers of the inauguration, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, wrote an email to Ivanka Trump and Gates expressing concern about the price. She wrote:
‘I wanted to follow up on our conversation and express my concern.
‘These events are in PE’s [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.’
Wolkoff went on to say:
‘I understand that compared to the original pricing this is great but we should look at the whole context.’
She then suggested that a day rate of $85,000 which was less than half of the Trump hotel’s offer would be more appropriate.
It’s going to be hard for Ivanka to deny that she had a hand her father’s serious financial crimes, and the fact that she likely participated in this scam could make prison time more of a possibility in her near future.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube