The inauguration committee set up for Donald Trump in 2016 reportedly received large amounts of illegal contributions from shell companies that were set up to hide the involvement of a foreign contributors.
The Guardian is reporting that the creators of three shell organizations each gave $25,000 to the record $107 million fund for President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration. The newspaper said that foreign nationals were involved who are not legally allowed to make U.S. political contributions.
US election law prohibits non-resident foreigners from contributing to political campaigns, including inaugurations. Donors or campaigns who “knowingly and willfully” breach this rule may be fined or prosecuted.
Federal prosecutors in New York and the attorney generals of New Jersey and Washington DC have in recent weeks issued subpoenas to the inauguration committee, demanding records and information on its contributors and spending.
The investigators want to see detailed financial information that would disclose exactly where all the money came from and where all the money went. Not only has the committee been accused of illegally receiving foreign donations, but it has also been accused of illegally funneling donations to the private businesses and accounts of Donald Trump.
One of the donations uncovered by The Guardian was made through a Delaware shell company by a wealthy Indian financier based in London who does not hold U.S. citizenship or residency.
Another donation was made by a company formed in Georgia by a lobbyist with ties to the Taiwanese government, and his wife said the firm was funded by Chinese investors.
One of the couple’s daughters was later given an internship in the Trump White House.
A third contribution, also worth $25,000, was made through a company formed anonymously in New York by an Israeli real estate developer known for helping foreign developers with U.S. legal issues.
The Israeli contributor told the newspaper he held a U.S. “green card” that permitted him to legally contribute.
Washington-based lobbyist Sam Patten, a former colleague of Paul Manafort, admitted last year that he illegally funneled $50,000 to Trump’s inauguration from a Ukrainian oligarch.
Special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as other investigators, are looking into foreign attempts to influence American politics and the Trump administration.
Last month we reported that new evidence was uncovered that Donald Trump was skimming money off of his inaugural committee by having his daughter Ivanka overcharge for hotel rooms. We also reported that Ivanka may have violated tax laws due to her involvement in the scheme. The president’s daughter also is at the center of the investigation into $40 million missing dollars from Trump’s inaugural committee.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.