USA prosecutors probe suspected Gulf donations to Trump

One at a time please! Trump inauguration committee reportedly under criminal investigation

The Wall Street Journal reports: "Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether President Trump's 2017 inaugural committee misspent some of the record $107 million it raised from donations, people familiar with the matter said".

Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating the finances of U.S. President Donald Trump's inaugural committee and whether foreigners contributed to its events using straw donors. "The other is for donating money in exchange for political favors and the third is misuse of donated funds".

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY is basing their investigation on materials seized during April raids on Trump's former longtime lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen.

In April raids at Cohen's home, office and hotel room, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents obtained a recorded conversation between Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to Melania Trump, who worked on the inaugural events. Wolkoff expressed concern in the conversation about how the inaugural committee was spending money, a person familiar with the Cohen investigation told the Journal.

The probe into the inaugural committee comes as the president and his White House are already facing investigations into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation, hush-money payments to women claiming to have had affairs with Trump and spending by Trump's foundation, among other issues. "We simply have no evidence the investigation exists".

The inquiry into the inaugural fund appears to involve prosecutors from USA attorney's offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, people familiar with the investigation said.

"The inaugural committee hasn't been asked for records or been contacted by prosecutors".

The Journal said prosecutors are also seeking documents from Franklin Haney, a Tennessee developer who gave $1m to the inaugural committee and later hired Cohen to help him obtain a $5bn USDepartment of Energy loan.

Canadian detained in China as Huawei CFO returns to court
Trump said while "my people" have spoken with China about the case, he has yet to discuss it with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Meng was released on $7.4 million bail on Tuesday, after being detained in Vancouver since December 1.

Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman found guilty of bank and tax fraud who was later accused of telling "multiple discernible lies" to investigators, was the one who suggested that Barrack start up and raise money for the super PAC, according to Times sources.

Read the full report from The Wall Street Journal.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has examined whether any foreign money came into the inaugural fund, which is prohibited from accepting foreign contributions.

According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, the committee raised $23 million, making it one of the most important sources of funds for advertisements, polls and other political expenditures on Trump's behalf.

Mr Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison following the raids on his home and business premises.

In August, the United States attorney's office in Washington, on a referral from Mueller, obtained a guilty plea from a DC consultant who admitted he used a USA citizen to serve as a "straw purchaser" so that a "prominent Ukraine oligarch" could attend the inauguration.

The inquiry is not the first time prosecutors have scrutinized Trump's inauguration.

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