Trump investigations: Prosecutors order inaugural committee hand over documents relating to 'foreign donations'

Adam Withnall

Federal prosecutors have issued a subpoena demanding documents from Donald Trump‘s inaugural committee, as part of an inquiry by the US Attorney’s Office in New York into whether the planning and funding of the $107m celebration of the new presidency broke the law.

While special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether the Trump election campaign coordinated in any way with the Russian state, the Manhattan-based criminal inquiry is reportedly investigating allegations of irregularities in the inaugural committee’s funding.

The Wall Street Journal, citing a copy of the subpoena, reported that prosecutors asked for “all documents” related to the committee’s donors and vendors, as well as records relating to “benefits” donors received after making contributions.

The investigation is examining whether some of the committee’s donors gave money in exchange for policy concessions, influencing administration positions or access to the incoming administration, the Journal reported.

Inaugural committee spokeswoman Kristin Celauro confirmed it had received the subpoena and was still reviewing it. ”It is our intention to cooperate with the inquiry,” she said.

The subpoena also requested documents relating to donations “made by or on behalf of foreign nationals, including but not limited to any communications regarding or relating to the possibility of donations by foreign nationals,” the Journal reported.

The New York Times reported late last year that federal prosecutors are examining whether anyone from Qatar, Saudi Arabia or other Middle Eastern countries made illegal payments to the committee and a pro-Trump super political action committee (PAC).

Foreign contributions to inaugural funds and PACs are prohibited under federal law.

The head of the inaugural committee, Tom Barrack, confirmed to The Associated Press that he was questioned by Mr Mueller in 2017. He told the AP he was not a target of the Mueller investigation.

Additional reporting by agencies