Donald Trump’s inaugural committee is about to get hit with a subpoena as the New York Southern District seeks documents related to potential fundraising corruption within the organization.
According to ABC News, “Prosecutors in New York’s Southern District have reached out to President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee and plan to subpoena the organization for documents, sources with direct knowledge tell ABC News, indicating that even as the special counsel probe appears to be nearing an end, another investigation that could hamstring the president and his lawyers is widening.”
The report notes that the subpoena is coming from the “public corruption section” of New York’s Southern District. It is likely related to the record-breaking $107 million raised for the inaugural fund, despite the “modest” scale of Trump’s inauguration festivities.
The New York Times added more reporting to the story:
President Trump’s inaugural committee was ordered on Monday to turn over documents about its donors, finances and activities to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to two people familiar with their investigation into the committee’s activities.
A lawyer working with the inaugural committee received a subpoena on Monday evening seeking documents related to all of the committee’s donors and event attendees; any benefits handed out, including tickets and photo opportunities with the president; federal disclosure filings; vendors; contracts; and more, one of the people said.
Prosecutors also showed interest in whether any foreigners illegally donated to the committee, as well as whether committee staff knew that such donations were illegal, asking for documents laying out legal requirements for donations. Federal law prohibits foreign contributions to federal campaigns, political action committees and inaugural funds.
The escalating investigation aligns with the previous reporting that indicated Trump’s inauguration committee was essentially a pay-to-play operation, selling access and influence over the president.
As I noted in December, citing a Wall Street Journal Report at the time, misusing inauguration funds could violate multiple federal laws.
Trump’s legal problems won’t end after Mueller’s probe concludes
While the White House continues to brace itself for Robert Mueller’s final report, which is expected over the next couple of months, the conclusion of that probe won’t be the end of his legal nightmares.
As ABC News pointed out, the investigation over Trump’s inaugural fund is likely to carry on beyond the special counsel inquiry.
With Democrats in the House ready to launch more necessary oversight, the White House will likely remain busy in the legal department. As Axios reported shortly after last year’s elections, there are at least 85 subjects Democrats want to target for investigation.
Even though Mueller’s probe appears to be in the homestretch, there is no end in sight as Trump, his businesses, his family members and his inauguration committee are likely to remain under investigation for months – or years – to come.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.