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DC attorney general sues Trump’s inaugural committee for ‘abusing nonprofit’ funds

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Elect Donald Trump waves to spectators as Vice President Elect Mike Pence and Melania Trump look on at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The attorney general for Washington, DC, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee abused non-profit funds by overpaying for event space at the President’s Washington hotel for events around his 2017 inauguration.

DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed the suit against President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, the Trump Organization and the Trump International Hotel in Washington in federal court. He accused the inaugural committee of coordinating with the Trump family to “grossly overpay” for event space at the Trump International Hotel.

“The inaugural committee made exorbitant and unlawful payments to the Trump hotel to rent event space for inaugural activity,” Racine said.

Nonprofits are legally required to ensure that their funds are used for their stated public purpose, not private interest, he added.

Racine alleged the inaugural committee was aware that it was paying far above market rates and “never considered less expensive alternatives.” The attorney general said the group also paid for space on days when it did not hold events.

The committee is accused of improperly using non-profit funds to throw a private party for the Trump family costing several hundred thousand dollars.

The lawsuit seeks to recover the amount improperly paid to the Trump hotel, and to direct those funds to suitable nonprofit purposes.

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