Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
In addition to the convictions, guilty pleas, prison terms, and ongoing investigations surrounding Trump, his campaign, and his administration, now Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee is also under federal criminal investigation for possibly misusing some of the $107 million it raised.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office is also looking into whether “top donors gave money in exchange for access to the incoming Trump administration, policy concessions or to influence official administration positions.”
The Journal further notes that “many of the president’s biggest campaign backers were involved in the inaugural fund.”
This investigation is yet another legal scandal that Trump and his team will have to deal with. According to the Journal, some of the evidence that led to an investigation came from Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, who this week was sentenced to three years in prison, in part because he colluded with Trump to commit felonies during the 2016 campaign. As part of Cohen’s two plea deals, he is cooperating with multiple investigations into Trump and Trump’s campaign.
During an FBI raid of Cohen’s office, the FBI found a recording of Cohen and a colleague discussing the inaugural committee, which is part of the evidence that led to opening a criminal investigation.
Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, Richard Gates, served as the inaugural committee’s deputy chairman. Gates pleaded guilty to a variety of crimes in February 2018, and has also been a cooperating witness in multiple investigations led by both special counsel Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice.
A lawyer close to the inaugural committee had no knowledge of any criminal investigation, according to the Journal.
With this latest investigation, it seems Trump’s culture of corruption extends far and wide, and no one yet knows the limits.
Published with permission of The American Independent.