Federal prosecutors intend to subpoena Trump inaugural committee, source says

Larry Hoffman
February 6, 2019

The source said it appears that one area of interest for Southern District of NY investigators is whether donors paid vendors directly for anything related to the inauguration. Patten enlisted a USA citizen to serve as a "straw" buyer of tickets for a Ukrainian client who wanted to attend the festivities, according to August legal filings.

Inaugural committee spokeswoman Kristin Celauro said the committee had received the subpoena and was still reviewing it.

While the subpoena is generally light on specifics, it does seek communications between the inaugural committee and Imaad Zuberi, a Los Angeles-based venture capitalist who donated $900,000 to the inauguration.

Mueller is separately examining the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation while the same federal prosecutors who subpoenaed Trump's inaugural records are probing his company, the Trump Organization.

Sander maintained that the probe has "nothing to do" with the White House, however, and she suggested that "hysteria" from the president's critics is all that is all that tying him to investigations into his business and associates. On Tuesday, Christie argued that the Federal investigation into Donald Trump's inaugural committee could be a "much more serious threat" to the president than special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Josh Kushner, who was apparently not named in the subpoena, is the brother of First Son-In-Law Jared Kushner.

Prosecutors are investigating possible conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, according to various reports.

Prosecutors are also reportedly examining whether donors made their contributions in exchange for access to Trump's new administration, a voice in policy-making, or a say in picking the new cabinet.

Zuberi donated heavily to Democrats and Hillary Clinton before contributing heavily to Trump. According to his LinkedIn, Zuberi served as co-chair of the Obama for America national finance committee from 2007-2016.

Zuberi could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

A spokesperson for the Southern District of NY didn't immediately respond to HuffPost's request for comment.

However, it is not clear whether his office has pursued the matter or transferred it to other prosecutors to explore further.

The subpoena also seeks committee memos and information regarding restrictions on donations "including but not limited to prohibitions on donations by foreign nationals or donations on behalf of a third party".

This article was written by Michael Kranish and Rosalind Helderman, reporters for The Washington Post.

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