Trump Inauguration Committee Under Criminal Probe: WSJ

The committee raised $107 million from donors
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2018 6:46 PM CST
Trump Inauguration Committee Under Criminal Probe: WSJ
President-elect Donald Trump is seen speaking on video monitor on the National Mall during his inauguration.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

President Trump’s inaugural committee is the subject of a criminal probe by federal prosecutors, according to an exclusive Wall Street Journal report released Thursday. Sources tell the paper that the Manhattan US attorney’s office is in the early stages of an investigation into whether the committee misspent a portion of the $107 million it raised. Prosecutors also are looking into whether donors to the inaugural fund gave money in hopes of gaining access to the administration or influence over policy or administration positions, which the Journal notes is illegal.

Sources tell the paper that the investigation was prompted in part by items seized during the investigation of Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, including a recorded conversation between Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who worked on inaugural events. Wolkoff reportedly expressed concern with how the inaugural committee was spending money. Tax filings show that $61 million of $103 million spent by the committee has been accounted for. The committee hasn’t been contacted by prosecutors, a Lawyer tells the Journal, saying “We are not aware of any evidence the investigation the Journal is reporting actually exists.” (Trump distances himself from Cohen.)

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