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President Trump and Melania Trump at the inaugural ball. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

As federal investigators continue to peer in to President Trump's inauguration committee's finances, receipts and internal emails, uncovered by ProPublica, reveal that the Trump Organization was paid by the committee for rooms, meals and event space at the organization's hotel in Washington, as Ivanka Trump played a role in negotiations.

Why it matters: Such spending could be found to violate tax law, "[i]f the Trump hotel charged more than the going rate for the venues." Marcus Owens, a former head of the division of the Internal Revenue Service that oversees nonprofits, told ProPublica, "[t]he fact that the inaugural committee did business with the Trump Organization raises huge ethical questions about the potential for undue enrichment."

According to ProPublica, Ivanka and other Trump employees were emailed by "a top inaugural planner" expressing concern "that the hotel was overcharging for its event spaces."

By the numbers: The inaugural committee raised $104 million in donations for the inauguration.

  • Nearly $40 million of that money was left unreported by the committee with it only being required to list its top five contractors, ProPublica reports.
  • Though it's unclear what the committee was ultimately charged, e-mails show there was concern that they were being overcharged by the organization with room rates of $175,000 per day and a $700,000 bill for the Presidential Ballroom and meeting rooms over a four-day period.

Driving the news: Per ProPublica, if the IRS finds "that a violation occurred, the Trump Organization would have to refund any overcharge and the inaugural committee would be hit with a 25% tax on the money."

The organization is under investigation by federal prosecutors for multiple accusations including misspending finances, whether donors gave in return for political favors, and whether foreigners funneled money to the inauguration.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The global future is looking dark and stormy

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

A new 20-year-forecast for the world: increasingly fragmented and turbulent.

The big picture: A major report put out this week by the National Intelligence Council reflects a present rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. How the next two decades will unfold depends largely on whether new technologies will ultimately unite us — or continue to divide us.

Rep. Gaetz declares he's "not going anywhere" amid sex trafficking probe

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) doubled down Friday night, saying he's not "going anywhere," and vowing, "I have not yet begun to fight," amid a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations.

What he's saying: “I’m built for the battle, and I’m not going anywhere,” Gaetz, who denies the allegations, said during a Women for America First event at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

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