With less than a week before Joe Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, prosecutors are finally getting around to questioning Donald Trump Jr. about financial malfeasance surrounding the 2017 celebrations for his father’s ill-fated inauguration.
According to the website Law & Crime, the eldest Trump scion is being sought for a deposition by the Washington, D.C. Attorney General’s office over an allegedly illegal misappropriation of presidential inauguration committee funds that is the subject of “an ongoing civil lawsuit.”
“Originally filed in January 2020 by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, that lawsuit initially alleged the inaugural committee ‘improperly paid more than $1 million’ to the Trump Organization ‘for use of event space at the Trump Hotel’ in Washington, D.C. during President Donald Trump‘s 2017 inauguration,” reporter Colin Kalmbacher of Law & Crime writes.
Since the suit was initially filed, more information has come to light and an additional charge has been added.
“This amended complaint adds an additional count against Defendants 58th Presidential inaugural Committee (PIC) and the Trump Organization for violating the District’s statutory and Common law,” a new filing by D.C. Assistant Attorney General Leonor Miranda says. “Discovery in this case has confirmed that the PIC improperly paid almost $50,000 for hotel rooms reserved by the Trump Organization. This new instance of improper spending of nonprofit funds is the focus of an additional count in the District’s First Amended Complaint.”
Miranda’s new filing gives the complicated details of the particular charges that DC prosecutors wish to discuss with Don Jr.
“In December 2016, the Trump Organization reserved a block of hotel rooms at the Madison, a Loews Hotel (Loews Madison) in Washington, D.C. during the January 2017 inauguration week,” the second filing alleges. “This reservation was arranged by the personal assistant to Donald Trump, Jr. at the Trump Organization. The contract was executed on behalf of the Trump Organization by a close friend of Donald Trump, Jr. named Gentry Beach.”
“The [Presidential inaugural Committee] was not a party to this contract,” the filing continues.
Law & Crime explains the convoluted trail that the payment for this contract followed as the Trump Organization skipped out on its legitimate financial obligations in typical Trumpian fashion.
“According to the D.C. Attorney General’s office, Trump Jr. and his friend secured their own block of party space for the family business. A bill was issued to the Trump Organization for nearly $50,000. That bill apparently went into arrears and then into collections. After that, Gates ‘forwarded the unpaid invoice to individuals working to wind up the [inaugural committee’s] financial affairs,’ the proposed amended complaint notes.”
“’Although no one in the PIC knew of the existence of the Loews Madison contract prior to July 2017, the PIC paid the invoice on behalf of the Trump Organization in the amount of $49,358.92,’ the filing goes on to note.”
“Because the PIC paid the invoice on behalf of the Trump Organization, it caused the PIC to violate the prohibitions on waste and private inurement in its articles of incorporation. Those payments caused the PIC to exceed or abuse its lawful authority to operate in the District of Columbia and to act contrary to its nonprofit purpose in the District of Columbia,” the latest filing in the suit alleges.
With his sister Ivanka having already been deposed in the suit back in December, Don Jr. becomes the latest Trump Organization executive to face a belated legal peril from the earliest days of his father’s presidency.
If it took this long to investigate and prosecute crimes alleged to have been committed almost exactly four years ago, one can only imagine how long we will have to wait to see justice meted out and consequences enforced for the Trump family’s more recent alleged crimes, including the senior Mr. Trump’s seditious incitement to insurrection for which his impeachment is only the first step in the reconciliation and retribution process.
If Don Jr. is forced to deliver a deposition in the D.C. Attorney General’s lawsuit, he had better get used to it.
He’s likely to face many other opportunities to testify in legal proceedings in the ensuing months as the behind the scenes workings of the Trump White House are revealed and the prohibitions on prosecuting a sitting president expire at the end of his father’s term — just as the NY Attorney General Letitia James ramps up her investigations of the Trump Organization’s dubious business and tax practices.
Original reporting by Colin Kalmbacher at Law & Crime.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.