Manhattan-based federal prosecutors open investigation into Trump inauguration spending

Manhattan-based federal prosecutors are investigating whether some of the $107 million in donations to then President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural committee were misspent, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter,” report that the investigation arose from ‘materials’ seized in the April raids on President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, by federal prosecutors.

The criminal probe is reportedly also looking into whether some of the committee’s top spenders traded money for access to the incoming Trump administration, as well as “policy concessions or to influence official administration positions,” sources tell the Journal.

“Giving money in exchange for political favors could run afoul of federal corruption laws,” The Wall Street Journal said. “Diverting funds from the organization, which was registered as a nonprofit, could also violate federal law.”

Federal prosecutors have reportedly also questioned ex-partner of onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Richard Gates.

Gates, who has cooperated with investigators in Mueller’s probe of Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. election, served as deputy chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee.

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