The D.C. attorney's office exposed in a court filing that the President's daughter gave a deposition in the case on Tuesday. Her deposition is part of the D.C. attorney general's lawsuit claiming the nonprofit presidential inaugural committee wasted over $1 million in "improper payments" to the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C.
The attorney general's office launched an investigative subpoena to the former friend of first lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who wrote a book about her declining relationship with the first lady, prior to its lawsuit after she sounded concerned the inaugural committee was overpaying the hotel.
Wolkoff asked Ivanka Trump and the inaugural committee's deputy chairman Rick Gates to "please take into consideration that when this is audited it will become public knowledge that locations were also gifted and costs underwritten to lower rental fees," according to the filing. Gates "personally managed" conversations with the Trump hotel of preparing its event space during 2017, according to the filing.
The attorney general's office issued subpoenas for records included in the case to Ivanka Trump, Melania Trump, and Gates. Thomas Barrack Jr., the chairman of the inaugural committee, further provided a deposition to the office on Nov. 17.
Wolkoff will be deposed in the case sometime next week.
“District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies,” District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, said earlier this year. “In this case, we are seeking to recover the nonprofit funds that were improperly funnelled directly to the Trump family business.”
His lawsuit attempts to obtain the $1 million that was supposedly funneled straight to the Trump family business.
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The inaugural committee has announced its finances were independently audited, and that all money was used lawfully.
Although campaign finance laws limit the size of campaign contributions, inauguration committees can receive countless donations, including from corporations. The $107 million raised by Trump’s inaugural committee, chaired by real estate developer and investor Thomas Barrack, was the biggest in history, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates worked as deputy chairman of the inaugural committee.
Gates was one of many Trump associates convicted in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.