World / Politics

Federal prosecutors subpoena Trump's inaugural committee in probe of ‘donations for favors’


Federal prosecutors in New York issued a subpoena Monday seeking documents from Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, furthering a federal inquiry into a fund that has faced mounting scrutiny into how it raised and spent its money.

A spokeswoman said that the committee had received the subpoena and was still reviewing it, adding “it is our intention to cooperate with the inquiry.”

She did not say which documents prosecutors had requested. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, which issued the subpoena, declined to comment.

Citing a copy of the subpoena, The Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors asked for “all documents” related to the committee’s donors and vendors, as well as records relating to “benefits” donors received after making contributions.

The newspaper reported late last year that federal prosecutors were investigating whether committee donors made contributions in exchange for political favors — a potential violation of federal corruption laws. It said the inquiry was also focused on whether the inauguration misspent the $107 million it raised to stage events celebrating Trump’s inauguration.

The subpoena also requested documents relating to donations “made by or on behalf of foreign nationals, including but not limited to any communications regarding or relating to the possibility of donations by foreign nationals,” the Journal reported.

The New York Times reported late last year that federal prosecutors were examining whether anyone from Qatar, Saudi Arabia or other Middle Eastern countries made illegal payments to the committee and a pro-Trump super political action committee. Foreign contributions to inaugural funds and PACs are prohibited under federal law.

The head of the inaugural committee, Tom Barrack, confirmed that he was questioned by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, in 2017. He told AP that he was not a target of the Mueller investigation, which is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.