February 4, 2019 10:50 pm -

This can’t be good – especially because it’s not coming from Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller’s office

Federal prosecutors in New York on Monday delivered a sweeping request for documents related to donations and spending by President Trump’s inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal investigation. …

Only U.S. citizens and legal residents can legally donate to a committee established to finance presidential inaugural festivities.

“We have just received a subpoena for documents. While we are still reviewing the subpoena, it is our intention to cooperate with the inquiry,” a spokesman for the committee said.

The SDNY prosecutors want everything related to:

  • inaugural donors;
  • attendees;
  • vendors;
  • contractors;
  • federal disclosure filings;
  • benefits handed out, including tickets and photo opportunities with the president;
  • bank accounts of the inaugural committee; and
  • information related to foreign contributors to the committee.

That last one could leave a nasty mark. The New York Times adds

The subpoena marked an escalation of the investigation, which the prosecutors opened late last year amid a flurry of scrutiny of the inaugural committee. And it showed that the investigations surrounding Mr. Trump, once centered on potential ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential election, have spread far beyond the special counsel’s office to include virtually all aspects of his adult life: his business, his campaign, his inauguration and his presidency.

Only one individual was named as part of the subpoena’s demand for documents: Imaad Zuberi, a former fund-raiser for President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who was seeking inroads with Mr. Trump, and whose company, Avenue Ventures, gave $900,000 to the inaugural committee. The subpoena also seeks documents related to his company.

As part of their inquiry, prosecutors in Manhattan have pursued the possibility that the inaugural committee made false statements to the Federal Election Commission, according to people familiar with the matter. It can be a crime to knowingly make false or fraudulent statements to a federal agency.

The inaugural committee’s chairman was Thomas J. Barrack, a close friend of the president’s. His close aide working on the inaugural committee was Rick Gates, the former deputy to Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who has been convicted of and pleaded guilty to several crimes in connection with the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Gates has pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to the F.B.I., and has been cooperating with Mr. Mueller’s team for nearly a year.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.