WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration committee and the Trump Organization have jointly agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the attorney general for the District of Columbia, which claimed that the Trump International Hotel illegally received excessive payments from the inauguration committee. The settlement in the civil suit came with no admission of wrongdoing by the Trump Organization, the former president, or the inaugural committee.
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“From the first days of his campaign, it was clear that Donald Trump saw the presidency as a money-making enterprise.
“Nothing changed when he took office. From day one, Trump degraded and debased the presidency by money-making schemes that erased the bright line between the public interest and his personal, pecuniary interest.
“The Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. was the epicenter of corruption for the entirety of the Trump presidency. In violation of the Emoluments Clause, foreign governments held events or stayed there to curry favor with the president. So did lobbyists, hangers-on and political committees.
“The inauguration gave the Trump gang the opportunity to engage in pure self-dealing, operating on both sides of the deal – but with funds provided by others. No surprise, the Inauguration Committee allegedly overpaid for the space it booked at the Trump Hotel.
“Public Citizen thanks and applauds D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine for bringing forward a case to hold Trump accountable for this abuse and for a settlement that forces the Trump business and inaugural committee to pay to charity a sum equivalent to most of what the inaugural committee spent at the hotel.”