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The former president's oldest son was questioned by investigators on Feb. 11, according to a federal court filing

By Sean Neumann
February 25, 2021 01:45 PM
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donald trump jr.
Donald Trump Jr.
| Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty

A new court filing shows Donald Trump Jr., eldest son of former President Donald Trump, was deposed earlier this month during the investigation into Trump's unprecedented spending for his 2017 inauguration.

Don Jr., 43, was questioned by investigators on Feb. 11, according to a federal court filing on Tuesday by Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine.

The deposition with the president's son's "raised further questions" about the inauguration spending, the filing states.

Committee officials have denied wrongdoing.

The New York Times reported in 2017 that President Trump had raised more than $107 million for the events, doubling any other spending by previous presidents' inaugural committees.

The attorney general's office has alleged Trump's inaugural committee made efforts to "grossly overpay" to rent out hotel space for his 2017 celebrations, according to court filings reviewed by PEOPLE.

In January 2020, the attorney general's office alleged the inaugural committee unnecessarily made more than $1 million in payments to the Trump International Hotel in D.C., where celebrations were held, "abusing nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family."

An initial investigation into the Trump International Hotel then "uncovered" a $50,000 contract the Trump Organization signed with the Loews Madison Hotel, according to the attorney general's latest filing this week.

Prosecutors allege the contract was paid by the inauguration committee, however.

That spending shows "a second instance in which the [inaugural committee] improperly spent its funds," the attorney general stated in the filing.

Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr.
| Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Shutterstock

After questioning Don Jr. earlier this month, the attorney general's office said it has so far received "unclear and contradictory accounts of how the [inaugural committee] ended up paying for the Trump Organization's invoice."

The Trump Organization did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment on Thursday. An attorney representing the inauguration committee also did not immediately respond.

In total, 10 people have been questioned over the spending — including Trump's oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, who sat for a deposition in December.

In early October, the attorney general's office began to subpoena documents from Ivanka, the 39-year-old former White House senior adviser, as well as former First Lady Melania Trump and the chairman of the inauguration committee, Thomas Barrack Jr.

Court filings show Stephanie Winston Wolkoff — Mrs. Trump's former "best friend" and White House aide who last year wrote a scathing memoir about working on the inauguration committee and working with the first lady — was also deposed in mid-December.

A key part of Wolkoff's book concerned what she describes as ongoing mysteries around the inaugural spending and how, in her words, the White House ousted her in such a way to make her seem partly responsible. (She says she kept only a standard fee and disbursed the rest of the money to subcontractors.)

Barron Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Michael Boulos
The Trump family at the Republican National Convention in August 2020
| Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty

After being deposed in December, Ivanka tweeted what she said was a screenshot of an email exchange showing instructions for the Trump hotel to charge a "fair market rate."

"Ms. Trump's only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the hotel to charge a 'fair market rate,' which the hotel did," Alan Garten, the Trump Organization's chief legal officer, told The Associated Press in a statement.

Ivanka suggested on Twitter that prosecutors were targeting the Trumps because of politics and that the investigation, and her five-hour deposition, was born out of "vindictiveness" and were a "waste of taxpayer dollars."