Ivanka Trump was deposed on Tuesday as a part of lawsuit by the attorney general’s office for Washington, D.C., alleging misuse of funds in the inaugural celebration for President Donald Trump.
The deposition was revealed in a court filing documented by CNN.
Investigators claim that the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inaugural Committee misused $1 million by “grossly overpaying” for space rented at the Trump hotel, which led to the funds flowing “directly to the Trump family.”
The filing also said that Inaugural Committee chairman Tom Barrack was deposed in November as a part of the investigation.
The lawsuit documented an email from former Inaugural Committee deputy chairman Rick Gates to Ivanka Trump about his concern that the media might make a “big story” out of “the optics of PIC [Presidential Inaugural Committee] paying Trump Hotel a high fee.”
Also included in the lawsuit was evidence that the committee event planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff had advised against the arrangement because the $175,000 daily rate was twice the market rate for such a space.
Despite the concerns of both Gates and Wolkoff, the committee rented the space for four days of the inauguration at the high rate.
The filing said Wolkoff was scheduled to be deposed over the matter next week.
On Tuesday the New York Times reported that the president had discussed issuing pre-emptive pardons for his family members and close associates, not because he believed they did anything wrong but because they were under attack.
However, when the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was identified as one of those he might pardon, was asked about the report, he denied it and called it “totally false.”
Later on Tuesday the president appeared to tweet about the report.
Pardon investigation is Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
“Pardon investigation is Fake News!” tweeted Trump without clarifying whether he was referring to the New York Times report or a separate report about an investigation into an alleged bribery scheme to buy a pardon.