Congress looks into Melania pal who made $1.6 million off inauguration


Congress wants answers about Trump's shady inaugural committee from Melania Trump's close friend and adviser, who profited handsomely from it.

The House Intelligence Committee has requested documents from Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a close friend of Melania Trump who personally earned a reported $1.6 million from Trump's inauguration.

It's the latest in a series of official inquiries into Trump's shady inaugural committee, which raked in unusually large amounts of money for an unusually low-scale inaugural celebration.

Wolkoff, described in a Town & Country profile as a "New York social fixture, event planner, and former Vogue staffer," was hired as an informal adviser to Melania Trump shortly after Trump's inauguration.

But she lost that job shortly after reports emerged that she was also one of the top contractors working on Trump's inauguration, and that she'd pulled in eye-popping profits from doing so. The company Wolkoff formed a mere 6 weeks before the event was paid $25.8 million by the committee, and Wolkoff herself brought in $1.62 million.

The Trump inauguration is under criminal investigation by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.

Investigators are concerned about the $107 million the fund brought in from top Trump donors, and whether those funds were misused. The inaugural committee spent at least twice as much as the amount raised for any of the inaugurations of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

The attorneys general of Washington, D.C., and New Jersey have also subpoenaed Trump's inaugural committee.

The D.C. attorney general is specifically investigating which monies went to Trump's D.C.-based hotels. The hotel was paid above-market rates for its space by the inaugural committee — and Trump would have personally benefited from the transaction, since he still owns the hotel.

An investigation by ProPublica and WNYC turned up emails and other documents that implicate Ivanka Trump in a scheme to overcharge the inaugural committee for the hotel space, thereby enriching her family.

For over two years, these questionable financial arrangements and actions were effectively ignored by Republicans in Congress.

Now, with Democrats in control of the House, the Trump administration is being held accountable — even the first lady's closest friends.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.