The D.C. attorney general sued President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee Wednesday for allegedly “grossly” overpaying for event space at Trump-owned properties during inauguration week in 2017.
Attorney General Karl Racine, a Democrat, alleges the inauguration committee paid the Trump hotel in D.C. $175,000 per day for event space, even on days when no events were scheduled, according to The Hill. The Trump Hotel has denied any wrongdoing, however, saying the price was well within norms for events like an inauguration. The inaugural committee, a non-profit, paid the hotel a total of $1,033,757 over the course of four days.
“An independent investigation by my office has revealed that the Inaugural Committee made exorbitant and unlawful payments to the Trump hotel to rent event space for inaugural activity,” Racine told reporters. “This came as a result of coordination between Inaugural Committee Deputy Chairman Rick Gates, Trump International Hotel Management and members of the Trump family.” (RELATED: Michelle Obama Talks About Trump’s Inauguration Crowd, Says It Was ‘Not Representative Of The Country’)
Trump’s inauguration committee received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from Trump supporters to curate events around Trump’s inauguration.
“The rates charged by the hotel were completely in line with what anyone else would have been charged for an unprecedented event of this enormous magnitude and were reflective of the fact that hotel had just recently opened, possessed superior facilities and was centrally located on Pennsylvania Avenue,” Trump Hotels spokeswoman Kimberly Benza told the Hill. “The AG’s after the fact attempt to regulate what discounts it believes the hotel should have provided as well as the timing of this complaint reeks of politics and is a clear PR stunt.” (RELATED: Mueller Was Investigating Donations To Trump’s Inauguration)
The AG’s complaint claims the inaugural committee also rented rooms and event space from the Fairmont and W hotels. The Fairmont made no rental charge and the W charged $20,000 for a one-night terrace rental.