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Friday April 19th

Trump’s organization under fire for campaign violations

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By James Wright
Nation & World Editor

Recently, federal prosecutors in New York have requested interviews with executives of The Trump Organization, which signals a growing potential threat to President Donald Trump and those in his realm who are under investigation by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, according to CNN.

Prosecutors in New York have undertaken two investigations of Trump-related entities. The first one examines possible campaign-finance violations by executives within The Trump Organization during the company’s efforts to repay Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen for hush-money payments he made to keep women quiet who previously claimed to have had affairs with the president. The second investigation concerns the Trump inaugural committee and possible financial abuses related to the more than $100 million in donations raised for his inauguration, CNN reported.

Those who are involved in discussions regarding the inaugural fund, a nonprofit that organizes festivities for the president’s swearing-in, declined to comment to investigators. Trump’s inaugural fund raised $107 million, which is the most in modern history, according to ABC. Prosecutors have been in contact with Trump’s family business since they have subpoenaed documents from the Trump inaugural committee.

Inaugural committees cannot accept foreign donations and must report their donors. If the committee had contributors directly pay vendors without passing the money through the committee, it could go against laws of public disclosure, The Washington Post reported. At least two former Trump campaign officials have been questioned by prosecutors, with one of those officials being asked about the official coordination between the Trump Organization and the presidential campaign, CNN reports.

The subpoena also asks for records about vendors and contractors who worked for the inaugural committee, along with online communications records with an online payment-processing company called Stripe. Stripe was backed by a number of major investors, such as the venture capital firm, founded and managed by Jared Kushner’s brother, Josh Kushner, ABC reported.

Despite the investigations circling the president and his family business, the committee has not been formally accused of wrongdoing and the subpoena does not name the head of the inaugural committee, Tom Barrack, or any other members of the inaugural committee, yet worries persist among political insiders about the numerous investigations of Trump’s operations and business dealings, according to ABC.

On Feb. 5, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attributed the president’s legal problems to anti-Trump “‘hysteria.’” She said on CNN that it is coming from people who search for “‘anything to try to create and tie problems to this president,’” The Washington Post reported.


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