Earlier today, Ivanka Trump tried to minimize her role in the Trump inauguration scandal, insisting that she merely told everyone involved to pay market rate at the Trump International Hotel. Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine pushed back against this on Twitter. Now he’s appeared on the Rachel Maddow show tonight, pushing back further.
AG Racine insisted that Ivanka Trump’s claims about the case on Twitter are “highly misleading, and at best only a part of the story.” He added that “Days after that email there was clearly an attempt to pay a lot more than the market price. Stephanie Wolkoff sent emails, including to Ivanka Trump, raising alarms … interestingly, Mrs. Trump does not cite any email after Mrs. Wolkoff’s red alarm email, saying ‘oh my goodness, this should not be charged at this level.'”
Racine also noted that the Trump inaugural committee ended up paying far above “market rate” at the Trump International Hotel. For instance, the inaugural committee double booked the hotel ballroom with another group. The inaugural committee paid $175,000, while the other group paid just $5,000 for the same space at the same time.
Racine noted that his investigation is merely a civil one, and that he won’t be making criminal referrals unless any witnesses commit perjury. However, Wolkoff has previously confirmed that she’s assisting with several different investigations into the Trump inaugural scandal, leaving open the possibility that one of them could be a criminal investigation.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report