THE PLOT THICKENS

Report: U.S. Attorney’s Office Subpoenas Trump’s Inaugural Committee

Lawyers for President Trump’s inaugural committee reportedly received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York on Monday as part of a probe into whether the committee misspent some of the $107 million it raised for the event. According to The Wall Street Journal, the subpoena asks for all documents related to the committee’s donors and vendors, donation disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, and any “benefits” donors may have received. More specifically, the subpoena asks for documents relating to Imaad Zuberi, a venture capitalist who donated $900,000 to the Trump inaugural committee through his private-equity firm Avenue Ventures. The Daily Beast reported in December that Zuberi met or spoke to Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen about his plans to attend the inauguration, and Cohen told him he would need to pay “upward of $1 million” to rub shoulders with senior Trump officials and perhaps Trump himself. Cohen and Zuberi—who does business with the Qataris—also reportedly spoke about “potential business opportunities” they both could embark on during Trump’s term. Zuberi also had contact with former Republican National Committee Finance Chairman Elliott Broidy and spoke about “potential business.”

A spokesperson for Zuberi told The Daily Beast on Monday that the businessman “knows nothing about a subpoena besides what is being written.” “It’s well-known that after supporting President Obama and Hillary Clinton, Imaad gave money generously and directly to the Trump Inaugural Committee. But many others gave substantially more. If in fact he is named in this subpoena never mind somehow named alone, he is bewildered why,” the spokesperson said.