The District of Columbia government filed a lawsuit Wednesday against President Trump‘s inaugural committee and companies that control D.C.’s Trump International Hotel, with Attorney General Karl Racine claiming that they intentionally arranged for the committee to “grossly overpay for event space” at the hotel.
The lawsuit, which names the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC), the Trump Organization, and Trump Old Post Office LLC as defendants, alleges that the committee was aware that they were overpaying, but did not bother looking into options that were less costly. The lawsuit claims that by doing so, it strayed from its public purpose as a nonprofit organization.
“The PIC abandoned this purpose and violated District law when it wasted approximately $1 million of charitable funds in overpayment for the use of event space at the Trump Hotel, owned and controlled by the Trump Entities,” the lawsuit says, alleging that PIC staff expressed “serious concerns” about the hotel’s price to committee deputy chair Rick Gates and Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter.
The inaugural committee has insisted that all spending was proper and within the law, and that its finances have been audited.
The lawsuit requests that the court direct that the appropriate amount of money — allegedly totaling more than $1.03 million — “be restored to a proper public purpose” by directing it to another nonprofit organization “dedicated to promoting civic engagement of the citizens of the United States of America[.]”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.