When Donald Trump was running for the presidency, he said that his strengths were his business acumen and success, and he presented himself as a manly, in-charge, successful leader of a global business empire whose intelligence and management skills were unparalleled. As president, however, things just happen to him. He’s not involved in anything, his campaign, transition, inauguration, and presidential administration all just ran amok without his knowledge.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is denying that President Trump had anything to do with inauguration spendinghttps://t.co/hGBe2SNT0Z
— POLITICO (@politico) December 14, 2018
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has offered the official line in the face of the subpoena of thousands of pages of documents from Trump’s inaugural committee, which is now being investigated as part of Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump’s possible ties to Russia and other foreign governments.
POLITICO reports that:
‘That doesn’t have anything to do with the president or the first lady. The biggest thing the president did, his engagement in the inauguration, was to come here and raise his hand and take the oath of office. The president was focused on the transition during that time and not on any of the planning for the inauguration.’
— Nicole Goodkind (@NicoleGoodkind) December 14, 2018
As are most of the details around the investigations into Trump’s business, campaign, transition period, and now his inauguration, Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen’s involvement is central to the investigation. This means that Cohen, who is currently cooperating with the Mueller investigation, could have much information to give to prosecutors.
‘The investigation into the inaugural committee is reportedly based on documents recovered during an FBI raid of the home, office and hotel room of Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen in April this year.’
It’s HIS inauguration. When your name is plastered in large type at the top of every single event invitation, you don’t get to say “I was too busy to oversee my own activities.” Besides, we know it’s probably a lie & opposite will come out on 2 weeks. https://t.co/7byATp78TI
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) December 14, 2018
Melania Trump is also involved in this particular investigation. Following the inauguration, the first lady hired one of the women whose firms received an inordinate amount of money from the inaugural funds to serve as a member of her team in the White House. That same friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, sent emails to Cohen raising concerns about the shady ways the committee’s funding was being spent.
‘Sander’s comment relating to Melania Trump appears to be in response to reports that a firm run by the first lady’s friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff received $26 million from the inaugural fund, The New York Times reported in February. A recording of a conversation between Cohen and Winston Wolkoff was uncovered during the April raid, revealing Winston Wolkoff was concerned about the committee’s spending.’
For a while now the Trump inauguration seemed to be an area of interest for law enforcement. Today's actions seem to ramp that up considerably and exposes another front of concern for the president and his associates. https://t.co/lNsujPWqHS
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) February 5, 2019
While the inauguration has certainly raised eyebrows due to stories of how Russian oligarchs and other foreign government officials were in attendance after communicating with the Trump campaign team during the elections, the subpoena is the first clear proof that questions about the inauguration will be included in Mueller’s investigation.
‘Mueller’s team has looked into if any foreign money entered the committee’s funds, which is illegal. A Washington consultant pleaded guilty this summer to being a “straw purchaser” for a Ukrainian oligarch in order for him to attend the inauguration.’
Featured image screenshot via YouTube