Suit claiming inaugural committee overpaid a Trump hotel moves forward with Ivanka Trump deposition.
Ivanka Trump testified on Tuesday in a closed-door deposition as part of a lawsuit filed in January by the attorney general in the District of Columbia claiming that President Trump’s inaugural committee overpaid the Trump International Hotel in 2017.
The deposition is one of a series now underway after Attorney General Karl A. Racine of Washington, a Democrat, managed to beat back an effort in September by lawyers for the Trump inauguration committee and the Trump Organization to have the case, which was pending in federal court in Washington, dismissed.
Others deposed so far include Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a major donor to Mr. Trump and the chairman of the inaugural committee, and Mickael Damelincourt, the managing director of Trump International Hotel in Washington.
The lawsuit asserts that Ms. Trump was informed before the inauguration in January 2017 that the initial amount the hotel intended to charge the nonprofit inaugural committee — $450,000 a day — was considered too much.
Mr. Damelincourt then lowered the proposed charge to $175,000 a day for the rental of the hotel’s presidential ballroom, but documents suggest that this was still more than some staff members thought was reasonable.
Mr. Racine’s lawsuit says that even with this lower price, the inaugural committee “violated District law by exploiting a nonprofit to engage in self-dealing.” No details about the deposition were released. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former aide to the Trump family who helped organize the inauguration, is scheduled to give her deposition next week.
The lawsuit by Mr. Racine is a civil case. It is separate from an investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who conducted an inquiry into donors to the inauguration, which raised and spent at least twice as much as its predecessors, a total of more than $107 million.