KEY POINTS

  • Prosecutors in D.C. said Trump family used nonprofit funds to throw parties
  • The Trump family is accused of "grossly" overpaying for event staff
  • One prosecutor said funds were "improperly funneled" to Trump's company

President Donald Trump’s legal woes don’t seem to be letting up. The District of Columbia is filing a lawsuit claiming nonprofit funds spent during Trump’s inauguration were misused by “blatantly and unlawfully abusing nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family.”

Trump’s inaugural committee and a pair of companies behind the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., are named in the lawsuit, which accuses them of “grossly” overpaying for event space and using nonprofit funds to host parties.

A massive $107 million was raised for Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, but since then it has come to light that members of his campaign allegedly misused those funds. Investigators have found that Robert Gates, Trump’s former campaign aid who later cooperated with Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, coordinated the use of event space and signed off on party costs. Investigators said he and others intentionally spent more money than necessary without considering alternatives.

Prosecutors found that at least one event planner raised concerns about the expenses, saying they were at least twice what they should be. Gates himself expressed concern about the “optics” of spending so much on the inauguration events with Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser. Regardless of those concerns, the costs were eventually approved.

The lawsuit adds that the traditional industry practice for hotels hosting such events is to discount the space, but instead the Trump hotel charged two nonprofit organizations full price. In another instance, $300,000 was spent on a Trump family party after the inauguration.

District attorney general Karl Racine said the suit aims to hold the Trump family accountable for failing to “use [nonprofit] funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies” as well as to “recover the nonprofit funds that were improperly funneled directly to the Trump family business.”

This lawsuit is only the latest in Trump’s ongoing legal headaches. In addition to the impeachment trial that began in the Senate this week, last month the Donald J. Trump Foundation, Trump’s charity group, was forced to disband and reimburse New York for $2 million. Prosecutors said the organization had misused charitable funds to illegally bankroll Trump’s 2016 campaign and purchase portraits of Trump, among other things.

Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will be ruling on lawsuits filed by Trump to block the release of his sensitive financial documents. While lower courts have repeatedly denied Trump’s appeals, whether those records will be released likely won’t be decided until the Supreme Court hears the arguments in March.