It’s now known that, among all of the investigations Donald Trump is currently under, one of the most recent is that of his Inaugural Committee, which raised a record-setting amount of money — more than double what Barack Obama’s first inauguration team raised — much of it through giant donations of a million dollars or more.
In fact, we’ve even touched on that investigation before. But in our partner site’s previous reporting, we didn’t cover one aspect that’s been troubling lawyers, ethics experts, and political analysts since we found out about it: A giant sum of money that’s just plain missing from the $107 million that was raised by the Committee, nearly forty percent of it.
CNN’s Erin Burnett hosted former Bush White House Ethics Czar Richard Painter on her show OutFront, and his input on the subject sheds some much-needed light on what looks like a pretty murky situation.
Citing a ProPublica report from just weeks ago, Burnett pointed out that $40 million of the inaugural’s budget was entirely unaccounted for, on top of allegations that the Committee, partially headed up by First Daughter Ivanka Trump, grossly overpaid one organization in particular for goods and services rendered: The Trump Organization.
That’s not speculative — there are emails showing Ivanka’s involvement in price negotiations for hotel rooms, meals, and event space for the inauguration.
The White House was quick to distance themselves from reports of the investigation, with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders telling reporters that it had “nothing to do with President Trump.” But it was Trump himself who appointed his close friend and fellow real estate investor Thomas Barrack to chair the Inaugural Committee. In fact, some of the information that is now being investigated in connection with the inauguration may actually be the result of Robert Mueller’s special counsel team interviewing Barrack back in May.
Painter’s take? It’s clearly corruption:
When you take funds for personal use out of a non-profit, that’s like taking money out of the church collection plate … that could be a crime.
That is a tell-tale sign of fraud, something’s going on here, criminal activity is very likely.”
Considering that this investigation is just one of many, we’re inclined to agree with Mr. Painter.
Featured image via screen capture