Ivanka Trump dropped into DC probe of Trump’s inauguration

Nor did Ivanka Trump mention that the mere fact that a new president had his founding committee buy goods and services from a hotel he owned was unprecedented in US history, let alone that that hotel was this committee, a not for profit That was funded by individuals, wanted to bill donors, millions of dollars for these services.

Ivanka Trump’s efforts to get news of the deposit came because President Donald Trump’s company is under a criminal investigation by the Manhattan Attorney’s Office into its income taxes, as the New York Attorney General has investigated the company for possible misrepresentation Being investigated on assets values ​​and when her father is sued by a writer for defamation after the writer said he raped her in the 1990s.

And it is more than a month before her brother Eric Trump was deposed on the New York AG case after attempting to submit to a subpoena, until after the presidential election, which her father passed nearly 7 million votes to the president-elect Joe Biden lost.

In January last year, Washington Attorney General Karl Racine announced that he had sued the Trump Inaugural Committee, the Trump Organization and the Trump International Hotel “for openly and illegally misusing charitable funds to enrich the Trump family “.

“An independent investigation into my office has found that the opening committee made exorbitant and illegal payments to the Trump Hotel to rent event space for opening activities,” said Racine. “This was the result of coordination between Vice Chairman of the Inaugural Committee, Rick Gates, the management of Trump International Hotel, and members of the Trump family.”

Racine’s lawsuit alleges improper payments made to the hotel by the opening committee in excess of $ 1 million.

As part of the lawsuit, Ivanka Trump, a senior White House advisor to her father, and her husband, real estate mogul Jared Kushner, were deposed by lawyers for the AG’s office on Tuesday.

“This week we spent more than 5 hours in a deposit at the Democrat DC AG office, where they questioned the prices charged by the Trump Hotel at the inauguration,” Ivanka Trump said in her tweet on Thursday.

“I shared an email with you 4 years ago in which I sent instructions to the hotel to charge a ‘fair market price’ (see below) which the hotel then made,” she wrote.

“This’ investigation ‘is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness and waste of taxpayers’ money.”

The tweet includes an email Ivanka Trump sent to the hotel managers on December 14, 2016 that says, “Just look at this. Why not call and negotiate. It should be a fair market price.”

Not included in her tweet are previous emails about the hotel’s pricing or subsequent emails that underscore the concerns of top officials on the opening committee about whether the Trump hotel has overcharged for its services, filling the pockets of the Trump family . These e-mails are published online by the DC AG office.

After this story was first published, Racine tweeted a response to Ivanka Trump’s criticism of him and linked it to emails she did not mention.

“We filed a lawsuit after gathering evidence that the Presidential Inaugural Committee knowingly entered into a grossly overpriced contract with the Trump Hotel,” Racine wrote. “Any statement to the contrary is wrong.”

“Under the DC Act, nonprofits must use funds for specific public purposes and avoid unreasonable, wasteful spending,” the attorney general said. “Our investigation found that the committee intentionally used charitable funds to enrich the Trump family. It’s simple: You broke the law. That’s why we sued.”

An email that did not highlight Ivanka Trump was written by December 10, 2016

Patricia Tang, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing, told opening committee staff member Ramsey Ratcliffe that the price of room rental and minimum F&B – food and drink – is “$ 3,600,000.”

Less than three minutes later, Ratcliffe forwarded that email to his fellow inaugural committee members with a word comment: “Ummm …”

Gates, a longtime Republican adviser and senior official in the Trump 2016 campaign, forwarded Ratcliffe and Tang’s emails to Ivanka Trump.

Gates told Ivanka he had “two concerns” with Tang’s email.

“First, the cost seems quite high even compared to other home purchases for the week,” Gates wrote, referring to the cost of renting other non-Trump hotels for the housewarming week.

“Second, I’m a little worried about the look of PIC [Presidential Inaugural Committee] Trump Hotel, and the media made a big story out of it, added Gates, who pleaded guilty within two years of federal conspiracy charges and false statements related to his work with the former Trump – Having made campaign leader Paul Manafort in Ukraine.

Two days after that email, Ivanka replied to Trump Gates saying she had asked “our GM Mickael” Damelincourt from the hotel to “call you directly”.

“Many thanks!” Ivanka added.

Gates replied that he and Damelincourt planned to meet the next morning “and solve the problems”.

In an email from Damelincourt to Gates dated December 16, 2016, stating that this was “a continuation of our conversation today,” a revised price of $ 700,000 or $ 175,000 per day for the entire ballroom is set for Tuesday , Wednesday, indicated Thursday and Friday of the week of dedication. And there would be no minimum fee for food and drinks, said the manager.

Later that day, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who was friends with First Lady Melania Trump before they had an argument, wrote to Gates to express “my concern” about the revised prices quoted by Trump. own hotel.

“These are events in PEs [president-elect’s] Honor at his hotel and one of them is with and for family and close friends, “wrote Winston Wolkoff.

“Please note that the audit will make it public that the sites have also been gifted and the cost of reducing rental fees has been taken,” she wrote. “I understand this is great compared to the original price, but let’s look at the whole context.”

“In my opinion,” Winston Wolkoff told Gates, “the maximum rent should be $ 85,000 per day.”

That fee would be $ 90,000 less per day than the lower, revised price quoted by the executive director who directed Ivanka Trump to charge her father’s inaugural committee a “fair market price”.

Alan Garten, a spokesman for the Trump organization, told NBC News on Wednesday when asked about Ivanka Trump’s deposit, “Ms. Trump’s only involvement was to join the parties and instruct the hotel to charge a ‘fair market price’ which the hotel did. “”

Garten didn’t immediately respond to a request from CNBC on Thursday for comment on Ivanka Trump’s tweet.

A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Ivanka Trump and her brother Donald Trump Jr. were targeted years ago by prosecutors in the Manhattan Attorney’s Office investigating whether potential buyers at the Trump SoHo Hotel in New York had been misled about the building’s success.

According to research by The New Yorker, ProPublica and WNYC, the two Trump children narrowly avoided prosecution in 2012.

The outlets reported that Marc Kasowitz, an attorney for Ivanka and Donald Jr., donated $ 25,000 to DA Cyrus Vance’s re-election campaign and appealed directly to him to drop the case.

That donation had been returned, according to the outlets, before Vance met with Kasowitz.

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