On Feb. 11 Donald Trump Jr. was deposed by the office of Washington, D.C., attorney general Karl Racine in connection with Racine’s lawsuit that alleges the misuse of Trump inaugural funds. Court documents filed two weeks after that video deposition stated that Trump’s deposition “raised further questions about the nature” of a hotel invoice that Racine’s office has been investigating.
Since then Mother Jones has been digging deep into the case and today is reporting that it appears that junior didn’t uphold his sworn oath to tell the truth to the D.C. attorney general’s office. Video and documents that it unearthed, along with recent court filings, seem to show numerous instances where the twice-impeached, one-term former president’s son lied about the Trump inauguration committee’s profligate spending at Trump-owned properties.
Racine filed suit against the inauguration committee and the Trump Organization last year alleging that the committee misused charitable funds to enrich the Trump family. As described by the attorney general, “the Inaugural Committee, a nonprofit corporation, coordinated with the Trump family to grossly overpay for event space in the Trump International Hotel. Although the Inaugural Committee was aware that it was paying far above market rates, it never considered less expensive alternatives, and even paid for space on days when it did not hold events. The Committee also improperly used non-profit funds to throw a private party [at the Trump Hotel] for the Trump family costing several hundred thousand dollars.”
Boiled down, Racine accused the Trump family and its company of major grifting. His lawsuit seeks to recover the amounts paid to the Trump Hotel so he can direct those funds to real charitable purposes.
During his deposition, Trump Jr. repeatedly replied, “I don’t recall” to prosecutors’ questions. According to the Mother Jones report, the clearest instance of Trump not testifying accurately is when he denied knowing Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania Trump’s former friend, who essentially managed all of the inauguration events. Winston Wolkoff raised concerns with president-elect Trump, Ivanka Trump and inauguration committee deputy chair Rick Gates about the exorbitant prices that Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel was charging the inauguration committee for events to be held there.
During his deposition, Trump Jr. was asked about Winston Wolkoff: “Do you know her?” He replied, “I know of her. I think I’ve met her, but I don’t know her. If she was in this room I’m not sure I would recognize her.” He added, “I had no involvement with her.” But video obtained by Mother Jones shows Trump specifically praising Winston Wolkoff for her “incredible” work in planning inauguration events.
There are also text messages and emails that Mother Jones obtained that show ongoing interactions between Trump and Winston Wolkoff.