Trump organizations agree to pay $750,000 to settle lawsuit with District


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The Trump Organization and former President Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee agreed Tuesday to pay $750,000 to the district to settle a lawsuit brought by the city alleging that the organizations misused nonprofit funds for the benefit of the former president and his family.

The city attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit in 2020 in the D.C. Supreme Court alleging that the Opening Committee, a nonprofit, coordinated with the Trump family to overpay for event space in Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington and even paid for space on days when there were no events. District attorneys also accused the Trump Organization of improperly using non-profit funds to hold a private party on January 20, 2017 for Trump’s children – Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric – at a cost of $300,000. The city also alleged that the Trump Organization, the Inaugural Committee and the Trump International Hotel misused $1.1 million.

Washington Attorney General Carl A. Racine, the settlement enables the city to “recover money” that was misused by the Trump inaugural committee.

“After his election, one of Donald Trump’s first actions was to illegally use his inauguration to enrich his family,” Racine said in a statement. We refused to let this corruption exist. Nobody is above the law – not even the president. Nonprofit money cannot be used to fill the pockets of individuals, no matter how powerful they are. Now any future presidential inauguration committees know that they will not get away with such outrageous acts.”

Nonprofits like the Trump Committee cannot use the money to grant special benefits to their leaders. Trump was not officially an officer on the opening committee, but Racine emphasized that for the purposes of the lawsuit, Trump and his family must still be treated as their leaders because they exercised control of the books.

In a statement, the attorney general’s office, Lee Blallack, called the attorney general’s allegations “baseless” and said the group had settled to avoid litigation costs, which would have been covered by its insurer, but would have gone beyond the agreed limit. settlement amount. If the case had gone to trial, Blallack added, the organization “would have won on the basis of the evidence.”

Racine’s office has identified two youth-oriented nonprofits in the capital — Mikva Challenge DC and DC Action — that will each receive $375,000 through the settlement.

DC Action’s Kimberly Perry said the 30-year-old Children’s Defense plans to use the funds to continue various workshops for DC youth on education, health and economic security.

“Our ultimate goal is for every child and young person to have the opportunity to grow up safely, resiliently, strong, hearing, and grow into productive adults,” Berry said. “We appreciate Attorney General Racine for choosing us at DC Action to be the recipients of this money. We will put it to good use.”

In the city’s lawsuit, lawyers asserted the Trump Organization and the inaugural committee paid “extremely exorbitant prices” for the hotel Even after senior committee staff and members of the Trump family warned that the charges were unreasonable. The lawyers said in their arguments that the commission’s payments It “flowed directly into the Trump family,” ignoring the commission’s bylaws that prohibit the use of its funds for private enrichment.

In court documents, the Trump Organization and the editorial committee argued that the Trump Hotel imposed a “market rate” on its spaces, in keeping with its status as a luxury hotel near the White House.

Trump’s lawyer could not be reached for comment on the settlement.

City attorneys also argued that Trump’s inaugural commission misused the nonprofit’s funds by paying off $50,000 of debt owed for rooms at the Loews Madison Hotel to Trump’s family and friends during opening week. The lawyers alleged that the Trump Organization booked the rooms, then failed to pay the bill.

Trump’s lawyers I tried unsuccessfully to get the case dismissed.

a The capital’s Supreme Court judge ruled in 2021 a part of a lawsuit in the county alleging that the 2017 Trump inaugural committee “wasted” $1 million at the president’s hotel after determining that the city could not prove that the misuse of funds was intentional. But the judge also ruled that the rest of the lawsuit accusing the nonprofit of misuse of assets may still stand.