Donald Trump Jr. was deposed this month by the attorney general of Washington, D.C. in a probe of the Trump inaugural committee where he said he did not authorize his assistant to enter a nearly $50,000 contract with a D.C. hotel.
The president’s son, a Trump Organization executive, made the statement in connection to a probe D.C. attorney general Karl Racine is conducting a probe of the 2017 inaugural committee after suing the company and Trump’s D.C. hotel.
Racine accuses the entities of ‘blatantly and unlawfully abusing nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family,’ something Trump Jr. and the Trump Organization have denied.
Donald Trump Jr. was deposed by DC attorney general Karl Racine’s office in its probe of Trump inaugural spending from 2017
Trump Jr., whose father faces probes in New York related to his business and in Georgia related to his election overturn effort, was deposed Feb. 11th in connection with the probe, according to a government filing.
The filing states that his deposition raised ‘further questions’ about a $49,359 contract that witnesses testified the Trump organization reached for a bloc of rooms at the Lowe’s Madison hotel just blocks north of the White House in connection with the inauguration.
The bill was presented to Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC), a nonprofit entity that oversaw inaugural activities.
Although the PIC picked up the tab, Trump Jr. wasn’t able to identify any donors for the committee who actually used the rooms.
Attorney General of Washington, DC, Karl Racine is conducting the probe
The lavish affair kicked off the Trump administration in 2017, with events at the Trump Hotel
Racine’s office says the inaugural committee paid vastly more than other entitites
Gentry Beach (c) a friend of Don Jr.’s, is described in court documents as signing the contract for a block of rooms
‘When asked about the names associated with the rooms and the invoice, Mr. Trump was unable to testify if any of them donated to the [inaugural committee]. Instead, the names were associated with the campaign or with the Trump family,’ according to the filing.
‘For example, Mr. Trump testified that one individual was a friend from college, one was a Trump family driver, another was a New York socialite from Real Housewives of New York who is also a Trump family friend,” it said, CNBC reported.
The filing identifies Trump Jr.’s assistant Lindsay Santoro as the point of contact on the block of rooms, and says his ‘close friend’ of Trump Jr. Gentry Beach provided the ‘authorizing signature.’
The two men are pictured together wearing Tuxedos at a fundraiser for Operation Smile in 2006. Beach is a stock trader who became a fundraiser for the Trump campaign and who went to college with Trump Jr.
Trump Jr”s sister, Ivanka, also provided a deposition to Racine’s office in December. Former Trump campaign deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, who cooperated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, also was deposed.
Racine’s office is asking a judge for more time to conduct further depositions in the matter.
DailyMail.com asked the Trump Organization for comment but got no immediate reply.
A complaint failed by Racine’s office states that Gates, a PIC executive, reached agreements for four days around the inauguration to reserve hotel space for four days, paying ‘almost $1.03 million for this event space.’
However, ‘these charges were unreasonable and improperly served to enrich the Trump Entities and its owners for a number of different reasons,’ it charges. It notes that an event planner warned they were double market rates, that space ‘should have been provided at no charge’ since the PIC arranged for a block of Trump Hotel rooms, and that the PIC paid for space even on days it didn’t hold official events. But another nonprofit, the National Prayer Breakfast, paid $5,000 for the Trump Hotel ballroom, while the PIC paid $175,000 to have it in the afternoon.
The legal action in D.C. comes as investigators in Manhattan looking into Donald Trump‘s tax affairs are becoming increasingly interested in the president’s oldest son, according to a report.
Trump Jr has been running the Trump Organization alongside his brother Eric, 37, while their father was in the White House.
Cyrus Vance Jr, the Manhattan district attorney, has been investigating the former president’s tax affairs for several months.
But on Tuesday it was claimed that Don Jr is now being dragged into the probe.
Donald Trump Jr, 43, is now reportedly a focus of Cyrus Vance Jr’s investigation into tax
Vance has been looking into the Trump Organization’s financial affairs and taxes for years
Investigators were asking questions about the 43-year-old and about Allen Weisselberg, one of the former president’s most trusted officers, The Daily Beast reported.
Weisselberg, 73, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has repeatedly appeared in investigations into the Trump family finances. In particular, he was heavily involved in the scheme to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels.
Don Jr has played an increasingly large role in his father’s political campaigns, while dealing with the family’s foreign business interests.
Forbes reported that Trump’s two sons ‘unloaded $118 million worth of the president’s real estate since his January 2017 inauguration, striking deals everywhere from New York City and Los Angeles to Charleston, South Carolina and the Dominican Republic.’
His activities have also caught the eye of the Washington DC attorney general, who is suing the Trump inaugural committee and the Trump Organization for allegedly misusing over $1 million in donations.
Ivanka Trump spoke to Karl Racine, the attorney general of Washington DC, last year about the lawsuit, which she called ‘a waste of taxpayer dollars.’
On official in Racine’s office confirmed in January that the prosecutor hoped to speak to Don Jr too.
Allen Weisselberg, 73, is also being looked at by Vance’s team, The Daily Beast reported
Don Jr has not commented on The Daily Beast’s report, and neither has Weisselberg.
Vance has expressed satisfaction that his investigations are progressing.
On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court approved Vance’s request to see Trump’s long-concealed tax returns and other financial records for a wide-ranging fraud probe.
Vance responded: ‘The work continues.’
Donald Trump is pictured with his son, as Weisselberg looks on behind
Trump released a statement complaining, ‘The Supreme Court never should have let this ‘fishing expedition’ happen, but they did,’ and baselessly accusing his foes of engaging in ‘fascism’ against him.
The Manhattan prosecutors were reported last week to have also recruited new members to their team.
On Thursday, The New York Times said that Vance had brought on Mark Pomerantz, a well-known former federal prosecutor, to aid in its investigation of Trump and his real-estate company.
The Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors are now investigating loans that Trump had taken out on multiple buildings, including Trump Tower in Manhattan.
On Thursday Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was interviewed by the Manhattan team for the fifth time, with Vance personally sitting in on the interview.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to crimes including lying to Congress during the Russia investigation and campaign finance violations, and is now serving the final months of his sentence under house arrest.
He predicted that Trump would be severely harmed by the investigation.
‘The Supreme Court has now proclaimed that no one is above the law,’ Cohen told The Daily Beast. ‘Trump will, for the first time, have to take responsibility for his own dirty deeds.’