News & Politics

Trump’s Inaugural Committee Settles With DC Over Money Spent at Trump Hotel

It will pay $750,000 to the District of Columbia, which will disburse the funds to two charities.

Photo of the Trump International Hotel by Jeff Elkins

Former President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee agreed to pay $750,000 to the District of Columbia Tuesday because of money DC’s attorney general says it misspent at Trump’s hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Attorney General Karl Racine in 2020 sued the committee, as well as the Trump Organization, saying it “wasted approximately $1 million of charitable funds in overpayment for the use of event space at the Trump hotel.” As one analysis of the case put it, “The lawsuit essentially claims that one of the first post-election actions of the Trump crew was to illegally use the inauguration to make a buck—a lot of bucks.”

A judge last November threw out the part of the suit that said the committee wasted its money but allowed its claim that the Trump family unfairly profited from the committee’s expenditures. The Trump Organization was added back to the suit as a defendant earlier this year, and a trial date was set for September.

In settling the suit, the defendants, which also include the hotel, disputed Racine’s claims but agreed to pay without admitting wrongdoing. Their settlement funds will be divided between two DC nonprofits, Racine’s office says: Mikva Challenge DC and DC Action. The Trump hotel’s lease has been sold to a Miami investment group and the property will soon be rebranded as a Waldorf Astoria.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.