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Donald Trump Jr. deposed by DC attorney general as part of inaugural funds lawsuit

Donald Trump Jr. was deposed as part of the Washington, DC, attorney general’s lawsuit alleging the misuse of Trump inaugural funds, according to a new court filing, the latest investigation in which the former President’s children have surfaced.

In a court document dated Tuesday, DC Attorney General Karl Racine’s office revealed the former President’s son was deposed on February 11.

The filing states that Trump’s deposition “raised further questions about the nature” of a hotel invoice Racine’s office has been investigating. The attorney general’s office alleges that the Trump Organization signed a contract with the Loews Madison hotel for $49,358.92 for a block of rooms during the 2017 inauguration, and that the invoice was later forwarded to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which then paid the bill, according to the filing.

Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump, executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization who run the real estate company on a day-to-day basis, have increasingly surfaced in investigations as authorities’ interest turns to properties the former President’s sons are involved in.

In addition to the DC attorney general’s lawsuit, prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office are digging into the company’s finances and asking questions about business units that both brothers are intimately involved with, including the Trump family compound known as Seven Springs in New York, as well as the Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street skyscrapers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

One person said prosecutors are asking “about everything under the sun about Donald, Ivanka, Don Jr and Eric, [and] Allen Weisselberg,” the chief financial officer.

Eric Trump was deposed by investigators with the New York attorney general’s office as part of a civil investigation into the Trump Organization. Ivanka Trump sat for a deposition with the Washington attorney general’s office in December.

The DC attorney general’s office has requested to have more time to obtain discovery materials and conduct depositions, according to the filing, adding that the office has been met with “repeated obstacles, including misleading testimony, a closed hotel and new information revealed after the deadline for issuing discovery requests passed on February 8.”

The Loews Madison is closed due to the pandemic and has changed owners twice, according to the filing. Ten witnesses have been deposed in the case, according to the filing, but only three were able to testify about the Trump Presidential Inaugural Committee’s payment of the Loews Madison invoice, according to the filing. A spokesman for the committee declined to comment on the filing.

“These witnesses gave inconsistent accounts of the purpose of the contract and why the PIC agreed to pay it, and none of the witnesses gave a complete or accurate account of the circumstances surrounding the invoice,” the attorney general’s office wrote in the filing.

Rick Gates, who was deputy chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, testified that he’d received an email from a collection agency in July 2017 for the unpaid Loews Madison bill. In his deposition, Gates said the hotel rooms were booked by a man named Gentry Beach, who was a friend and chief of staff for Donald Trump, Jr. Gates said he was told by Beach the rooms were for people who had donated to the PIC and so “the hotel bill should be paid by PIC,” according to Gates’ deposition, adding that there was a “donor package” which included hotel rooms “if you donated at a certain level.”

But Trump Jr. gave a different explanation for the names associated with rooms billed to the committee, saying they were “associated with the campaign or with the Trump family,” according to the attorney general’s office.

“For example, Mr. Trump testified that one individual was a friend from college, one was a Trump family driver, another was a New York socialite from the Real Housewives of New York who is also a Trump family friend,” the filing states.

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