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District of Columbia reaches $750K settlement in Trump inaugural lawsuit

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The District of Columbia attorney general said that his office had reached a $750,000 settlement to resolve a lawsuit that alleged Donald Trump’s inaugural committee overpaid for events

Columbia | Donald Trump | United States

AP  |  Washington 

Last Updated at May 3, 2022 20:53 IST

The District of attorney general said Tuesday that his office had reached a USD750,000 settlement to resolve a lawsuit that alleged former President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee overpaid for events at the Trump Hotel to enrich the former president’s family in the process.

Attorney General Karl Racine announced the settlement agreement in the case against the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Trump Organization and the Trump Hotel in Washington in a tweet on Tuesday. The document had not yet been signed by a judge.

The agreement says the case is being resolved to avoid the cost, burden, and risks of further litigation and that the organizations dispute these allegations on numerous grounds and deny having engaged in any wrongdoing or unlawful conduct.

As part of the agreement, the defendants will pay the District of a total of USD750,000, which will be used to benefit three nonprofit organizations, the settlement paperwork says.

We’re resolving our lawsuit and sending the message that if you violate DC nonprofit lawno matter how powerful you areyou’ll pay, Racine said in a tweet.

Racine has said the committee misused nonprofit funds and coordinated with the hotel’s management and members of the Trump family to arrange the events. He said one of the event’s planners raised concerns about pricing with Trump, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Rick Gates, a top campaign official at the time.

The committee has maintained that its finances were independently audited, and that all money was spent in accordance with the law. The committee raised an unprecedented USD107 million to host events celebrating Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. But the committee’s spending has drawn mounting scrutiny.

Gates, a former Trump campaign aide who cooperated in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, personally managed discussions with the hotel about using the space, including ballrooms and meeting rooms, the attorney general’s office has said. In one instance, Gates contacted Ivanka Trump and told her that he was a bit worried about the optics of the committee paying such a high fee, Racine said.

Prosecutors say the committee could have hosted inaugural events at other venues either for free or for reduced costs but didn’t consider those options.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, May 03 2022. 20:52 IST