Jan 22, 2020

D.C. attorney general sues Trump Organization and inaugural committee

Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against President Trump's inaugural committee and business Wednesday, claiming that the committee "abandoned" its purpose as a nonprofit by improperly overpaying to book event space at Trump's D.C. hotel.

The big picture: The lawsuit alleges the committee coordinated with the Trump family to "grossly overpay" for event space in the hotel without considering other venues. The committee allegedly ended up paying a total of $1 million for the space, including on days it wasn't used.

What they're saying: "District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies," Racine wrote. "In this case, we are seeking to recover the nonprofit funds that were improperly funneled directly to the Trump family business."

The Trump Organization responded with the following statement, per the Washington Post:

"The AG's claims are false, intentionally misleading and riddled with inaccuracies. The rates charged by the hotel were completely in line with what anyone else would have been charged for an unprecedented event of this enormous magnitude and were reflective of the fact that hotel had just recently opened, possessed superior facilities and was centrally located on Pennsylvania Avenue. The AG's after the fact attempt to regulate what discounts it believes the hotel should have provided as well as the timing of this complaint reeks of politics and is a clear PR stunt."

Go deeper: Trump Organization considers sale of flagship D.C. hotel

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Trump's Space Force gets a new, recognizable logo

Space Force vs Starfleet. Photo: Trump Twitter feed (left)/CBS/Viacom (Right)

The Trump administration's new Space Force logo looks a lot like another space visual: the Star Trek insignia.

Why it matters: The United States Space Force was signed into law at the end of 2019 after President Trump directed the Pentagon to form a new branch of the military dedicated to keeping U.S. assets in space safe.

Go deeperArrowJan 24, 2020

SpaceX inks deal to fly space tourists to orbit

NASA astronaut Suni Williams inside a mockup of a Crew Dragon capsule. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX has penned a deal with the space tourism outfit Space Adventures to launch private citizens to orbit aboard the company's Crew Dragon capsule.

Why it matters: SpaceX is building and testing the Crew Dragon to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, but this announcement shows they're thinking about orbital space tourism as a possible driver of revenue for them in the future.

Go deeperArrowFeb 18, 2020 - Science

Federal appeals court dismisses Democrats' emoluments suit against Trump

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal appeals court dismissed Friday a lawsuit from 215 congressional Democrats against President Trump alleging that the Trump Organization is in breach of the Constitution's emoluments clause.

The big picture: It's just one of several emoluments-linked cases facing Trump while in office, including others filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and D.C. and the federal ethics watchdog CREW.