Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine said Thursday that Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpDC attorney general: Ivanka Trump ‘highly misleading’ on lawsuit deposition Trump pardon scandal would doom his 2024 campaign Ivanka Trump slams lawsuit as example of ‘vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars’ MORE’s public comments regarding her deposition in an investigation into her father’s inauguration were “highly misleading.”
Earlier in the day, the president’s oldest daughter confirmed that she was deposed as part of an investigation into the use of inauguration funds.
“This week I spent 5+ hours in a deposition with the Democrat D.C. AG’s office where they questioned the rates charged by the Trump Hotel at the inauguration,” Trump said in a statement, which she posted to social media. “I shared with them an email from 4 years ago where I sent instructions to the hotel to charge ‘a fair market rate.'”
“This ‘inquiry’ is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars,” Trump added.
Racine said that he did not agree with Trump’s public comments on the matter.
“With all due respect to Ivanka Trump, what she put out today was highly misleading, and at best, part of the story,” Racine said during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowDC attorney general: Ivanka Trump ‘highly misleading’ on lawsuit deposition Quarantined Maddow shares story of partner who is fighting COVID-19: ‘Don’t get this thing’ The tribal journalism of cable news is at a crossroads MORE.
Trump spoke to investigators as part of a lawsuit that alleges the misuse of the president’s 2017 inauguration funds.
In January, Racine sued the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inauguration Committee, alleging that the groups misused more than $1 million in raised funds to “grossly” overpay for event space at the Trump hotel in D.C. during the 2017 inauguration.
Trump shared a screenshot of a single email from Dec. 14, 2016, in which she instructed Mickael Damelincourt, the managing director at Trump International Hotel in Washington, to “call and negotiate. It should be a fair market rate.”
However, Racine told Maddow that Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpDC attorney general: Ivanka Trump ‘highly misleading’ on lawsuit deposition Biden warns Americans against traveling for Christmas McEnany hits Democratic leaders for not following their own COVID-19 restrictions MORE, expressed concerns about how much the hotel was looking to charge the inauguration committee.
Wolkoff, who was on the inauguration planning team, suggested price caps on the rental fee. Racine shared the email on Twitter, dated Dec. 17, 2016.
We filed suit after gathering evidence that the Presidential Inaugural Committee knowingly entered into a grossly overpriced contract with the Trump Hotel.
Any claim to the contrary is incorrect. https://t.co/luQXOSqIRo pic.twitter.com/Ny8d9kiwOa
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) December 3, 2020
Racine told Maddow that the committee paid $175,000 for the space in Trump Hotel, adding that for the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, it cost just $5,000 for the same space.
“$175,000 charged to the inauguration committee, $5,000 charged for another not-for-profit. Doesn’t sound like a ‘fair market rate’ to me.”
The president has reportedly discussed preemptively pardoning Ivanka Trump, Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpDC attorney general: Ivanka Trump ‘highly misleading’ on lawsuit deposition Trump pardon scandal would doom his 2024 campaign Ivanka Trump slams lawsuit as example of ‘vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars’ MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an ‘existential threat’ for tech MORE Jr. before leaving office to guard against potential legal jeopardy once the Biden administration takes over.
However, a federal pardon would not protect against possible state charges.
Updated at 1:39 p.m.