An internal investigation conducted by the board of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) found that Vince McMahon provided former President Trump’s now-defunct charity with $5 million in undisclosed payments, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing securities filings and people familiar with the probe.
The WWE board has been conducting an investigation into the former WWE chief executive and chairman regarding sexual misconduct allegations, according to the newspaper. McMahon stepped down in July from his roles at WWE.
The board found $5 million of unreported expenses from McMahon in contributions for the Donald J. Trump Foundation, people familiar with the probe told the Journal. That amount of money was a part of approximately $20 million in unreported expenses the former WWE executive paid out, according to securities filings this month.
WWE paid out a total of $5 million in 2007 and 2009, the newspaper reported, citing the nonprofit’s tax returns, which took place during the same time that the former president appeared at some of its events.
“Mr. Trump and WWE entered into a contract whereby WWE agreed to and did pay him personally an appearance fee of $1 million,” Jerry McDevitt, an attorney representing WWE, told the Journal in an email.
“At the same time, the McMahons made a personal contribution to the Trump Foundation of $4 million. There was no additional fee paid to Mr. Trump, or any additional contribution to the Trump Foundation, due to the success of the event,” he added.
The development follows a recent search warrant that was executed by the FBI at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in a separate controversy tied to the former president. The search warrant was unsealed Friday, indicating that officials believed Trump may have violated several laws, including the Espionage Act.
The Hill has reached out to Trump spokespeople and McDevitt for comment.