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The Key Clue That Investigation of Trump Inauguration Is ‘Moving into the Next Stage’


Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have reportedly been investigating possible wire fraud, money laundering, false statements, and illegal foreign donations in its examination of President Donald Trump‘s 2017 Inauguration Committee and alleged misspending therein of $107 million raised from contributors. The latest clue that this investigation is moving to the “next stage” is that it appears document production has ceased.

Per CNN’s reporting on Monday:

The President’s Inaugural Committee handed over the cache of documents over the course of several weeks in response to a wide-ranging subpoena seeking documents, records, and communications concerning the inaugural’s finances, vendors, and donors sent in February by the US attorney’s office with the Southern District of New York. The last set of documents was produced within the last month, people familiar with the matter said.

The end of the document production indicates the investigation is moving into the next stage.

The documents obtained by prosecutors reportedly numbers in the “tens of thousands.”

The last time we checked in on the Trump Inauguration probe, currently incarcerated ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen was the center of attention.

Cohen, you may recall, made secret recordings of conversations he had in the past. Along with other recorded conversations related to well-known campaign finance violations, Southern District of New York (SDNY) prosecutors also obtained an apparent conversation between Cohen and Stephanie Wolkoff, a former aide to Melania Trump whose company WIS received $26 million from the Trump Inauguration Committee. The Committee reportedly spent $107 million related to Trump’s 2017 inauguration, about twice as much as Presidents George W. Bush or Barack Obama spent on theirs. It was reported in January that the recorded conversation between Cohen and Wolkoff at least partially inspired the investigation of money coming in and going out of the Inauguration Committee.

A spokesperson for WIS said at the time that their bills “were vetted, authorized and signed off on” by the Inauguration Committee.

Despite the latest signals that the investigation is moving forward, there is not a clear timeline. Nor are there obvious signs of “damaging information” in documents obtained, according to CNN.

So far prosecutors have not interviewed some of the top finance organizers of the inaugural or asked the Trump Organization for documents, according to people familiar with the investigation. Other people familiar with the investigation say there is no obviously damaging information in the documents.

Washington, D.C. and N.J. Attorneys General have also sought to get involved in an investigation of the Trump Inauguration with subpoenas of their own.

Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

[Image via Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.