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Judge Dismisses Portion of Inauguration Lawsuit Against Trump Organization

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A superior court judge has dismissed a portion of a 2017 inauguration lawsuit against the Trump Organization.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine brought the lawsuit forward, alleging that Trump’s inaugural committee “wasted” $1 million renting ballrooms at Trump’s DC hotel.

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Judge José López held that the plaintiff didn’t reach the “extreme burden” needed to prove a “waste” claim.

“In short, there is no genuine dispute that the value paid for the space at the Trump Hotel reaches the extreme burden that Plaintiff need to carry a waste claim to its fruition,” López wrote.

ABC News reported:

The Trump Organization secured a partial victory on Monday as a Washington, D.C., superior court judge [Lopez] dismissed a portion of a lawsuit brought by the D.C. attorney general over actions by former President Donald Trump’s 2017 Presidential Inaugural Committee.

But López did allow the case to proceed, in part, on the claim of “private inurement” — the question of whether the inaugural committee used their funds for private benefit and not for nonprofit purposes — which means the case could proceed to trial.

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The ruling removed the Trump Organization as a named defendant in the case, yet still keeps the former president’s Washington hotel as a named defendant, as well as the inaugural committee itself.

The judge ordered a status hearing be held in February to determine how the remaining parties want to proceed.

Trump’s Inaugural Committee raised $107 million and ended up giving $3 million not spent on festivities to charity and the DC Attorney General is nitpicking how $1 million was spent on ballrooms.

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“Did higher ranking Trump family officials have the ability to control the workings of the [committee?]” Lopez wrote. “Did members of the [committee] ignore internal recommendations to pay the Trump Hotel for services that could have been offered for free? If so, did they make those payments for strategic reasons, or for other purposes?”

“Racine’s office said in a statement that it plans to bring the lawsuit to the trial phase. Attorneys representing the inaugural fund haven’t said whether they plan to appeal the part of López’s ruling allowing the case to proceed,” Business Insider reported.

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“The lawsuit over the inaugural fund is one of around a dozen major civil lawsuits Trump is battling now that he is no longer president. Racine’s office deposed Ivanka Trump for the lawsuit in December, and has signaled it wants to interview other officials who worked on the inauguration fund as well,” Business Insider added.

“It’s a big deal that our lawsuit is moving forward and going to trial. The Inaugural Committee misspent more than $1 million in nonprofit funds to unlawfully benefit private interests,” a spokesperson for the D.C. attorney general’s office said in a statement. “We cannot allow those in power to get away with using money to illegally enrich themselves and their families. AG Racine is working to get that money back and make sure it supports a legitimate public purpose.”

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