Prosecutors subpoena Trump inaugural committee for documents

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Foreigners can not contribute money to inaugural committees, political campaigns, and PACs under USA federal law.

Attendees at Trump's events included wealthy Russians and Ukrainians.

Sam Patten, an associate of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, has disclosed he helped foreign donors give money to the committee and a USA citizen served as a "straw" buyer of tickets for a Ukrainian client who wanted to attend the festivities, according to August legal filings. Longtime family accountant and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg has agreed to cooperate, though the extent of his help is unknown.

U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a meeting to "discuss fighting human trafficking on the southern border" in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 1, 2019.

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The broad demand for documents suggests that Trump and entities connected to him may face continued scrutiny by federal prosecutors, particularly in NY, even if special counsel Robert Mueller's probe winds down. Monday's subpoena is not connected directly to the Mueller probe, but there is expected to be some overlap. "It's well known that after supporting President Obama and Hillary Clinton, that Imaad gave generously and directly to the Trump inaugural". The Wall Street Journal first reported on the subpoena Monday evening, and said the investigation had developed out of a separate investigation into Cohen's business deals. It hasn't been disclosed how they gained access and the extent of foreign money spent. "Eleven days before Trump's inauguration, oligarch Vekselberg met with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower".

The paper, citing people familiar with the inquiry, said it focuses on people from Middle Eastern countries - including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - and whether they "used straw donors to disguise their donations to the two funds". The special counsel's office has interviewed Thomas Barack, a close associate of Trump's who was in charge of fundraising for the committee. Barrack isn't named in the subpoena.

An inaugural committee spokesman confirmed the receipt of the subpoena in a statement to TPM. Zuberi once registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent because of his lobbying work for Sri Lanka.

At least one person has said he funneled foreign cash into the inaugural committee in exchange for tickets.

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