New evidence shows that Trump was skimming money off of his inaugural committee by having his daughter Ivanka overcharge for hotel rooms.
A spokesman confirmed that the nonprofit 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee paid the Trump International Hotel a rate of $175,000 per day for event space — in spite of internal objections at the time that the rate was far too high. If the committee is deemed by auditors or prosecutors to have paid an above-market rate, that could violate tax laws prohibiting self-dealing, according to experts.
Tax law prohibits nonprofits from paying inflated prices to entities that are owned by people who also control or influence the nonprofit’s activities.
Ivanka Trump set the rates for hotel
The inaugural committee was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a day for space when the average DC hotel room rate is $250. Reporting in December 2018 revealed that it was Ivanka Trump who negotiated the contracts and set the rates with the inaugural committee. Ivanka Trump negotiated with her father’s inaugural committee a rate that was ten to one hundred times more expensive than the average for space at a hotel that she and her father own.
This is a classic example of a conflict of interest that opened the door to criminal graft.
Since Trump didn’t separate himself from his businesses after he won the election, which sent a clear signal that he and his family were looking to make money off of the presidency. There are tens of millions of dollars missing from Trump’s inaugural committee, and it looks like at least some of that money found its way into the pockets of Donald Trump and his kids.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association