KEY POINTS

  • Ivanka Trump was deposed in a case involving claims of misused inauguration funds
  • The charge alleged excessive fees paid to the Trump family business
  • The case is before a court in the District of Columbia

Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and top advisor, testified under oath about allegations the campaign misused funds from a non-profit for the inauguration four years ago, court filings show.

Court documents filed Tuesday in the civil division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia show Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a contractor and event planner for the non-profit 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, expressed concern over “the excessive charges” that were “demanded” for inaugural events four years ago at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.

The court filings show Ivanka sat for a deposition Tuesday in the case before the D.C. court as part of a claim filed in January by the D.C. district attorney’s office alleging the Trump Organization and the PIC abused funds raised by the non-profit.

Ivanka took to Twitter to call it a "politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness and waste of taxpayer dollars."

Others who gave a deposition in the case examining the inauguration included Tom Barrack, chairman of the inaugural committee, first lady Melania Trump, and Rick Gates, the former deputy chairman of the inaugural committee.

Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, sought to distance Ivanka from the allegations of misusing funds.

“Ms. Trump's only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the hotel to charge a 'fair market rate', which the hotel did," Garten said in a statement to CNN.

The lawsuit found Gates agreed with the Trump family and the managing director to pay $175,000 for the PIC to reserve space in the president’s hotel for four days. Wolkoff, according to the suit, stated the charges were at least twice the market rate.

According to the court filing, Wolkoff expressed her concerns to Gates, Ivanka, and others about the excessive fees, though the “PIC and the Trump hotel ignored those warnings and went ahead with the improper payments at issue in this case.”

The case was brought by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, who alleged, among other things, that the PIC paid more than $300,000 for a private reception for Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump in the evening of the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.

“District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies,” Reuters quoted Racine as saying earlier this year.

Reuters adds that Racine is seeking to recover $1 million allegedly channeled into the Trump family business. It’s not clear what happens next in the D.C. case. The PIC, according to Reuters, stated its finances were audited and the money was spent according to the rule of law.

The New York Times reported in late November that Ivanka was also tied to investigations in New York over possible tax fraud.

Citing unnamed sources, The Times reported that one criminal and one civil investigation in New York examining allegations of fraud by President Trump and his enterprises now include millions of dollars in tax write-offs on consulting fees that were paid to Ivanka.

The report found that the president reduced his taxable income by claiming nearly $30 million in fees paid to unnamed consultants as a business expense between 2010 and 2018.

The Times reported that in a filing from 2017, when she was an official White House adviser, she reported a payment of $747,622. That’s the exact amount the Trump Organization claimed as tax write-offs on consulting fees for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver, the Times reported.

Gates, the former deputy campaign of the inauguration, was among those convicted as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka is pictured delivering a speech. Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski