Investigators in New York are looking into how Trump’s inaugural committee spent and received donations.

More drama unfolded Thursday as news broke that President Trump’s inaugural committee is reportedly under investigation by federal prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office in New York City.

News of the investigation comes only one day after Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in federal prison and David Pecker, owner of the National Enquirer, admitted to paying off one woman in cooperation with Trump.

The Wall Street Journal first broke the story of the investigation into the inaugural committee.

Sources close to the investigation told the Journal the investigation is looking into whether top donors to the inaugural committee gave money in “exchange for access to the incoming Trump administration, policy concessions or to influence official administration positions.” Trump’s inaugural committee raised over $107 million for festivities related to the Trump inauguration.

Using donations to the inaugural committee for purposes other than inaugural related festivities is illegal, as is exchanging money for political favors.

In a statement, Trump’s inaugural committee said the celebration was “in full compliance with all applicable laws.”
“The (committee) is not aware of any pending investigations and has not been contacted by any prosecutors. We simply have no evidence the investigation exists,” the statement read.
“The (committee’s) finances were fully audited internally and independently and are fully accounted. Moreover, the inauguration’s accounting was provided both to the Federal Election Commission and the IRS in compliance with all laws and regulations. These were funds raised from private individuals and were then spent in accordance with the law and the expectations of the donors. The names of donors were provided to the FEC and have been public for nearly two years and those donors were vetted in accordance with the law and no improprieties have been found regardng the vetting of those donors.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters when asked about the investigation, “That doesn’t have anything to do with the President or the first lady. The biggest thing the President did, his engagement in the inauguration, was to come here and raise his hand and take the oath of office. The President was focused on the transition at that time and not on any of the planning for the inauguration.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that sources told the Journal the investigation arose from documents seized during the Michael Cohen investigation, in particular, a recorded conversation between Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to Melania Trump. Wolkoff reportedly expressed concern about how the inaugural committee was spending money.
The investigation is reportedly only in the very beginning stages.
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