Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee for documents that could link donors and the benefits received for such donations for the lavish 2017 inauguration. The subpoena by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York requests documents, communications and memos involving donors, vendors and expenditures, according to an ABC News report.
The subpoena will further investigate the use of the Trump International Hotel, payments to a personal friend of first lady Melania Trump and an exorbitant amount of money spent on salad bowls.
“We have just received a subpoena for documents. While we are still reviewing the subpoena, it is our intention to cooperate with the inquiry,” a spokesperson for the inauguration committee told ABC News.
The inaugural committee raised $107 million from private donors and spent around $104 million of that in a 72-day span. The amount is more than double what former-Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama spent in 2005 and 2009.
The money spent for Trump’s inauguration ranged from $1.5 million for the Trump International Hotel, $30,000 in per diem payments to contract workers and $10,000 for makeup for 20 aides at an event in the evening.
ABC News explored deeper into documents that found $130,000 was spent on salad bowls from Tiffany & Company, $2.7 million for a company to produce a Broadway rendition of “New York, New York” and another $130,000 on customized seat cushions.
President Donald Trump takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today’s inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Inaugural committee chairman Tom Barrack, who was not named in the subpoena, did not comment on the story, and neither did the spokesperson from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The investigation into the inaugural committee’s finances began in December with investigators prying into whether or not money was misspent.
The New York Times was looking into whether foreign officials pushed money into the committee’s to “influence” American policy.
The subpoena includes similar investigations, like “including but not limited to prohibitions on donations by foreign nationals or donations on behalf of a third party.”
Inaugural spending first raised eyebrows when tax filings last year revealed the five biggest vendor payments totaled nearly $26 million to WIS Media Partners, which is advised by Stephanie Winston-Wolkoff, who is reportedly a close friend of Melania Trump. WIS reportedly paid subcontractors for their work. Winston-Wolkoff was reportedly paid $1.62 million for her work in what’s called a “supervisory fee.”
The Trump inaugural committee also donated a total of $5 million to charities that included the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Smithsonian Institute and other benefactors.
In contrast, the Obama inaugural committee spent $51 million in 2009.
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