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Ivanka Trump deposed Tuesday as part of inauguration fund lawsuit

The suit claims the Inaugural Committee made improper payments to the president's hotel during his 2017 inauguration. Trump called the suit political.
Image: Ivanka Trump, 55th Munich Security Conference
Ivanka Trump attends a panel discussion at the 55th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on Feb. 16, 2019.Alexandra Beier / Getty Images file
/ Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump has been deposed by attorneys alleging that President Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration committee misused donor funds, a new court filing reveals.

The document notes that Ivanka Trump, the president's oldest daughter and a senior White House adviser, was interviewed Tuesday by attorneys from the Washington, D.C., attorney general’s office.

The office has filed a lawsuit alleging waste of the nonprofit's funds, accusing the committee of making more than $1 million in improper payments to the president's Washington, D.C., hotel during the week of the inauguration in 2017.

As part of the suit, they have subpoenaed records from Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Thomas Barrack Jr., a close friend of the president who chaired the inaugural committee, and others. Barrack was also deposed last month.

Trump confirmed the deposition Thursday on Twitter, saying it lasted more than five hours. She noted the D.C. attorney general is a Democrat and charged, "This 'inquiry' is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars."

The tweet included what Trump said was an email message from 2016 in which she suggested the hotel negotiate and said, "It should be a fair market rate."

On Wednesday, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump organization said similarly that “Ms. Trump’s only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the hotel to charge a ‘fair market rate,' which the hotel did.”

Trump’s inaugural committee spent more than $1 million to book a ballroom at the Trump International Hotel in the nation’s capital as part of a scheme to “grossly overpay” for party space and enrich the president’s own family in the process, the District of Columbia’s attorney general, Karl Racine, alleges.

He has accused the committee of misusing nonprofit funds and coordinating with the hotel’s management and members of the Trump family to arrange the events.

“District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies,” Racine has said. “In this case, we are seeking to recover the nonprofit funds that were improperly funneled directly to the Trump family business.”

The committee raised an unprecedented $107 million to host events celebrating Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, but its spending has drawn continued scrutiny.

Kristen Welker and Peter Alexander contributed.