Ivanka Trump is in serious trouble over misusing public money, and even her father may not be able to save her.
In case you missed it, Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump was deposed (removed from her post – Ed) this week as part of an investigation into misuse of inauguration funds by the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC). The Washington DC attorney general’s office sued the Trump Organization and the PIC back in January, alleging that it violated its status as a not-for-profit organisation by “grossly overpaying” the Trump Hotel for event space for the 2017 presidential inauguration, and purportedly misusing more than $1 million in taxpayer funds.
On Tuesday US time, the eldest Trump daughter, in the company of investigators, was busy explaining away another legal line the Trump administration has purportedly crossed.
Refinery29 wrote, “according to the lawsuit, the PIC — under the direction of Rick Gates, the former inaugural committee deputy chairman — paid $175,000 USD per day for four days to reserve space at the Trump Hotel. Wolkoff expressed discomfort with that fee, noting that it was nearly twice the market rate, and expressed that concern to both U.S. President Trump and Ivanka in an in-person meeting as well as in a followup email.”
Beyond Ivanka, the attorney general officer also subpoenaed Tom Barrack (the chairman of the inaugural committee), Melania Trump and Rick Gates. Barrack was removed from office on November 17. On her Twitter, Ivanka noted that she gave evidence over a period of “5+ hours”, the question remains: Will Ivanka see jail time? For the first time in the Trump administration (she faced, and was excluded from, a similar inquiry in 2019), she’s no longer off the table.
“Ms Trump’s only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the hotel to charge a ‘fair market rate’, which the hotel did,” Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, told CNN.
As Refinery29 noted, “Ivanka’s involvement with negotiations for a failed Trump Tower in Moscow was probed as part of the Mueller investigation and in 2019, the FBI looked into her international business dealings. Last year, Ivanka and her brothers were ordered to receive “mandatory training” on the “duties of officers and directors of charities so that they cannot allow the illegal activity they oversaw at the Trump Foundation to take place again” as part of a settlement in a case that led to the closing of the president’s charity, which the New York attorney general called “little more than a chequebook for payments from Mr Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality.”
Michael Cohen, Donald’s former lawyer, who pleaded guilty in two cases for crimes related to the Trump campaign told MSNBC last month that he believes Ivanka will go to jail before her father does. “I believe Trump does go to jail and if it’s not Trump, he’ll push one of the kids, probably Don, Jr. before Ivanka . . . definitely, Eric before Ivanka, but Ivanka will go to prison before Donald because that’s just who he is,” Cohen said.
On that note, The New York Times has reported that “President Trump has discussed with advisers whether to grant pre-emptive pardons to his children, to his son-in-law and to his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and talked with Mr Giuliani about pardoning him as recently as last week, according to two people briefed on the matter.
“Mr Trump has told others that he is concerned that a Biden Justice Department might seek retribution against the president by targeting the oldest three of his five children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — as well as Ms Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser.”
However, Aaron Rappaport of The Washington Post has offered a counter-take, explaining that if “Trump believes such pardons would protect the recipients from federal prosecution, he should think again. In addition to violating core democratic ideals, such a move might well prove beyond his constitutional authority…while the pardon power grants the president expansive authority, that power is not unlimited. Most importantly, the Framers (of the law – Ed) would have understood that pardons must be issued for specific crimes. They were not intended to be broad grants of immunity, get-out-of-jail-free cards bestowed by presidential grace.”