NJ attorney general subpoenas Trump's inaugural committee

February 15, 2019 - 5:36 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump's inaugural committee received a sweeping request for financial records this week from prosecutors in New Jersey, the second subpoena the group has received in as many weeks as its fundraising and spending draws mounting scrutiny.

The committee said Friday that it is in contact with the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, which issued the request for documents on Monday as part of a civil inquiry into how the committee raised and spent $107 million on inaugural events.

The inaugural committee has told the AP its finances were independently audited and that all funds were spent in accordance with the law. Leland Moore, a spokesman for New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, declined to comment.

The inquiry marks the latest in a series of investigations into Trump's campaign and presidency. The special counsel, Robert Mueller, is investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia and whether the president obstructed the investigation. In a separate case, federal prosecutors in New York have alleged that Trump directed his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to make illegal hush-money payments to two women in a bid to quash potential sex scandals during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump denies wrongdoing and has called Mueller's probe a "witch hunt." He also has said he was not involved in the operations of the inaugural committee.

The subpoena, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, resembles the wide-ranging request for documents the committee received last week from federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who are investigating, among other potential crimes, whether foreigners illegally contributed to the inaugural events. Among other materials, the New York prosecutors asked for documents related to any payments made by donors directly to contractors and vendors who worked for the committee.

The latest subpoena contains similar language but specifically asks for records relating to fundraising events and "solicitations" conducted in New Jersey. It also requests copies of ledgers, tax forms, contracts and "all documents related to any benefits provided to donors."

The subpoena gives the inaugural committee two weeks to provide the materials to the attorney general's consumer protection division.

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Associated Press writer Mike Catalini contributed to this report from Trenton, New Jersey.

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