1 of 4 | The Trump inaugural committee is accused of misusing charitable funds by reserving the ballroom and purchasing food and beverage for former President Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The District of Columbia attorney general's lawsuit accusing former President Donald Trump's inaugural committee of spending non-profit funds at a Trump-owned hotel will go to trial later this year, the district official announced Thursday.
The trial is set to begin Sept. 26, some two and a half years after Attorney General Karl Racine sued the committee, Trump International Hotel and the Trump Organization.
Racine said the entities misused $1.1 million in charitable funds to "dramatically overpay" the hotel for event space, to throw a private party for the former president's children and to pay a private debt held by the Trump Organization.
"No one is above the law, and we're now going to trial to hold Donald Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee accountable for illegally using nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family," Racine said. "My office is committed to standing up against corruption and abuses of public trust. That's why we investigate, and, when the facts reveal flagrant violations of law, we sue. We look forward to proving our case in court. Cheaters should never prosper."
Racine's office said the D.C. Superior Court issued an order this week saying the lawsuit could move forward.
The Trump inaugural committee raised $107 million for Trump's inauguration in January 2017, more than doubling the previous record for any other incoming president.
According to Racine's lawsuit, the committee booked the Trump hotel ballroom for $175,000 per day and spent $300,000 on food and beverage -- rental rates that were allegedly higher than the venue's pricing guidelines. Trump's team hardly used the facilities it paid for, the suit said.
"The PIC's payment flowed directly to the Trump family, flouting the PIC's bylaws prohibiting the use of its funds for private enrichment," the suit said.
Racine's office said event staff at the hotel "recognized this would not be a proper use of PIC funds and tried to cancel this event."
Meanwhile, the attorney general's office said it uncovered new evidence during its investigation that the committee also used the non-profit funds to pay a $50,000 debt owed by the Trump Organization. The funds paid for rooms at the Loews Madison hotel that the Trump family reserved and then failed to pay for.
President Donald Trump takes the Oath of Office at his inauguration on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Trump became the 45th President of the United States. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo