Judge Orders Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg To Give A Deposition In Inauguration Lawsuit

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The former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization will be forced to participate in a “very limited” deposition as part of a lawsuit over alleged waste and self-dealing by the former president’s inaugural committee, a judge ruled Thursday.

During a status hearing, Judge Yvonne Williams said she will “allow a limited deposition” of Allen Weisselberg, who is already indicted on unrelated charges in a tax fraud case in New York. Among other things, the D.C. Attorney General’s Office alleges that after a bill for Lowes Madison hotel rooms booked by the Trump Organization for the 2017 confab went to a collections agency, the nonprofit committee got stuck with the bill.

The motion comes after the Trump legal team asked the judge to spare the embattled CFO.

“He seems to have nothing to do with the [hotel], they just seem to want to depose Mr. Weisselberg… for I don’t know what reason,” lawyer Rebecca Woods said.

In addition to compelling Weisselberg to be deposed, Williams also granted the attorney general’s motion for the Trump legal team to turn over documents that Donald Trump Jr. reviewed prior to his own Feb. 11, 2021, deposition. Those documents, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Jimmy Rock argued, were related to the Lowes Madison, and Trump Jr. “relied” on them during this deposition.

Williams ruled that the AG’s office could pursue a “limited document request” for those materials.

Prosecutors allege that ahead of the 2017 presidential inauguration, the Trump Organization reserved a block of rooms at the Loews Madison Hotel in downtown D.C. But they say at least 13 people did not show up to claim their hotel spots, prompting the Trump Organization to refuse to pay the bill and later try to dodge a credit collection agency to requested payment. Eventually, prosecutors say, the nonprofit presidential inaugural committee, known as the PIC, ended up footing the $49,358 bill.

The unpaid bill, the attorney general’s office states, was just one example of how the Trump kids improperly used the presidential inauguration committee. (The other key allegation is that the committee wrongly shelled out “more than $1 million” to the Trump Organization “for use of event space at the Trump Hotel” during the 2017 inauguration.)

“The Trump Organization was liable for the invoiced charges,” the D.C attorney general’s office said in a Jan. 2021 filing. “The [Inaugural Committee’s] payment of the invoice was unfair, unreasonable, and unjustified, and ultimately conferred [an] improper private benefit to the Trump Organization.”

While Williams admitted that the lawsuit had a long way to go given vast discovery materials, the judge set a trial date for September 26, 2022.