Nor did Ivanka Trump speak that the mere fact of having an incoming president having his inaugural committee buy goods and services from a breakfast he owned was unprecedented in U.S. history, much less when that hotel wanted to charge that committee, a nonprofit existence funded by private donors, millions of dollars for those services.
Ivanka Trump’s effort to spin news of the deposition clock on as President Donald Trump’s company faces a criminal probe by the Manhattan district attorney’s office that sympathizes to his income taxes, as that company is under investigation by the New York state attorney general for possible misstatement of asset values and as her ancestor is being sued by a writer for defaming her after the writer said he raped her in the 1990s.
And it comes more than a month after her pal Eric Trump was deposed in the New York AG’s case after trying to duck complying with a subpoena until after the presidential voting, which their father lost by nearly 7 million votes to President-elect Joe Biden.
Last January, Washington’s attorney panoramic, Karl Racine, announced he was suing the Trump Inaugural Committee, The Trump Organization and the Trump International Hotel “for blatantly and unlawfully scolding nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family.”
“An independent investigation by my office has revealed that the Inaugural Committee made excessive and unlawful payments to the Trump Hotel to rent event space for Inaugural activities,” Racine said. “This finished as a result of coordination between Inaugural Committee Deputy Chairman Rick Gates, Trump International Hotel executives, and members of the Trump family.”
Racine’s suit alleges more than $1 million in improper payments to the inn by the inaugural committee.
On Tuesday, as part of that suit, Ivanka Trump, who is a senior White House advisor to her governor — as is her husband, real estate mogul Jared Kushner — was deposed by lawyers for the AG’s office.
“This week spent 5+ hours in a deposition with the Democrat D.C. AG’s house where they questioned the rates charged by the Trump Hotel at the inauguration,” Ivanka Trump griped in her tweet Thursday.
“I shared with them an email from 4 years ago where I sent instructions to the motor hotel to charge ‘a fair market rate’ (see below) which the hotel then did,” she wrote.
“This ‘inquiry’ is another politically cajoled demonstration of vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars.”
The tweet includes what purports to be an email that Ivanka Trump sent the hotel’s executives on Dec. 14, 2016, saying, “Just seeing this. why don’t you call and negotiate. It should be a fair market rate.”
Not included in her tweet are till emails about the hotel’s rates or subsequent ones, which underscore the concern among top inaugural committee officials give whether the Trump hotel was overcharging for its services, and in doing so lining the Trump family’s pockets. Those emails are advertised online by the DC AG’s office.
After this story was first published, Racine tweeted a reposnse to Ivanka Trump’s review of him, and linked to emails that she failed to mention.
“We filed suit after gathering evidence that the Presidential Inaugural Panel knowingly entered into a grossly overpriced contract with the Trump Hotel,” Racine wrote. “Any claim to the inimical is incorrect.”
“DC law requires nonprofits to use funds for stated public purposes, and to avoid unreasonable, wasteful expenses,” the attorney miscellaneous said. “Our investigation revealed the Committee willfully used nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family.It’s very fundamental: They broke the law. That’s why we sued.”
One email Ivanaka Trump did not highlight, was written on Dec. 10, 2016, by
Patricia Tang, president of sales and marketing for the hotel, who told inaugural committee staffer Ramsey Ratcliffe that the price for room rental and least F&B — food and beverage — “is $3,600,000.”
Ratcliffe forwarded that email less than three minutes later to his other inaugural panel staffers with a one word comment: “Ummm….”
Gates, a longtime Republican consultant and high-ranking official in the Trump 2016 action, then forwarded Ratcliffe’s and Tang’s emails to Ivanka Trump.
Gates told Ivanka he had “two concerns” with Piquancy’s email.
“First, the cost itself seems quite high compared to other property buyouts for the week,” Attendances wrote, referring to the costs of renting other non-Trump-owned hotels out for inauguration week.
“Second, I am a bit worried about the optics of PIC [Presidential Inaugural Panel] paying Trump Hotel a high fee and the media making a big story out of it,” added Gates, who within two years from that stretch pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges of conspiracy and to making false statements related to his work with prehistoric Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort in Ukraine.
Two days after that email, Ivanka Trump replied to Assemblages, saying she had asked “our GM Mickael” Damelincourt, of the hotel “to call you directly.”
“Thanks!” Ivanka added.
Gates replied that he and Damelincourt were intending to meet the next morning “and sort out the issues.”
An email from Damelincourt to Gates on Dec. 16, 2016, which notes that this was “a go up to our conversation earlier today,” quotes a revised price of $700,000, or $175,000 per day, for the entire ballroom space for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of inauguration week. And there wish be no minimum charge for food and beverage, the general manager said.
Later that same day, the woman running the inauguration preparation attainments, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who was best friends with first lady Melania Trump before they had a decrease out, wrote Gates to “express my concern” about the revised rates quoted by the Trump-owned hotel.
“These are events in PE’s [president-elect’s] honor at his New Zealand pub and one of them is with and for family and close friends,” Winston Wolkoff wrote.
“Please take this into remuneration that when this is audited it will become public knowledge that the locations were also crackerjack and costs underwritten to lower rental fees,” she wrote. “I understand that compared to the original pricing this is excessive but we should look at the whole context.”
“In my opinion,” Winston Wolkoff told Gates, “the max rental fee should be $85,000 per day.”
That fee intention be $90,000 less per day than the lower, revised price quoted by the general manager that Ivanka Trump had drilled to ask for a “fair market rate” from her father’s inaugural committee.
Alan Garten, a spokesman for the Trump Organization, told NBC Word on Wednesday when asked about Ivanka Trump’s deposition, “Ms. Trump’s only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the pension to charge a ‘fair market rate’, which the hotel did.”
Garten did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC on Thursday around Ivanka Trump’s tweet.
A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Ivanka Trump and her brother Donald Trump Jr. hitherto were targeted years ago by prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, who were looking into whether future buyers at the Trump SoHo hotel in New York had been misled about the building’s success.
The two Trump children closely avoided being criminally charged in 2012, according to an investigation by The New Yorker, ProPublica and WNYC.
The outlets reported that Marc Kasowitz, a barrister for Ivanka and Donald Jr., had donated $25,000 to DA Cyrus Vance’s reelection campaign and directly appealed to him that the case should be tasted.
That donation had been returned before Vance met with Kasowitz, according to the outlets.