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

3 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.