The Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, has been identified as a key figure in the criminal and civil investigations of Donald Trump’s businesses. He’s also being investigated for tax fraud himself. Now, a new court document filed earlier this month ties Weisselberg to yet another Trump financial scandal, namely the Trump inauguration case.
Karl Racine, the Washington, DC, Attorney General, filed a lawsuit against Trump’s inauguration committee and the Trump Organization in 2020, alleging that the inauguration committee, a nonprofit corporation, misused charitable funds to enrich the Trump family. The complaint accuses the Presidential Inauguration Committee (known as the PIC) of coordinating ‘with the Trump family to grossly overpay for event space in the Trump International Hotel.
As news reports about the PIC’s finances were blowing up in 2017, the PIC reached out to Weisselberg to oversee its own internal audit. Weisselberg later exchanged several emails with Heather Martin, the PIC’s budget director. In one of these emails, he asked why there was a $1.6 million difference between the committee’s revenues and donations.
The Florida sun isn’t the only thing making Trump sweat this summer.
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Depositions were taken in Racine’s lawsuits where lawyers repeatedly asked witnesses about Weisselberg. Ivanka Trump was asked, “Do you have any idea why the Trump Organization would be asking for revenue data from the PIC?” She replied, “I do not.” Donald Trump Jr. was asked the same question, where he replied, “I don’t.”
A grand jury has been convened to hear evidence in the criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, the Washington Post reports. pic.twitter.com/ohFfrTGcFL
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Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former assistant to Melania Trump, was present during the Inauguration planning and who’s now a lead cooperating witness in the suit, wonders why Weisselberg was involved in anything connected to the PIC at all. “The Trump Organization is the parent company that controls the operations and finances of the Trump Hotel, so why would Allen Weisselberg, its CFO, be asked to participate in the audit pertaining to the finances of the PIC?” she opines. “That is especially true when those finances involve the questionable payments to the Trump Hotel that I questioned at the time. This seems highly unusual, and it’s a matter that the various investigators should be seriously examining.”
Wolkoff joined Ari Melber and Michael Cohen on “The Beat With Ari” to speak to the investigations surrounding the Trump Organization.