By Glenn Fleishman
December 13, 2018

President Donald Trump’s inauguration is under investigation by federal prosecutors, who are examining whether organizers misspent some of the record $107 million raised privately for events celebrating his assumption of office, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The report also states that attorneys will look into whether some donations to the non-profit inauguration committee were given in exchange for administration privileges, like access to officials, changes in policy, or even offers for positions in government.

If the investigation finds any of that behavior, it could result in federal charges for laws governing non-profit spending and those intended to deter government corruption.

The Journal said that the probe originates in the South District of New York, which just completed a successful prosecution of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer. Cohen pleaded guilty in August, offered information to New York prosecutors and the special counsel’s team, and received a three-year sentence on Dec. 12.

The inauguration investigation arose from papers seized during the probe of Cohen, the Journal reported, based on “people familiar with the matter.”

A recording of a conversation between Cohen and former advisor to Melania Trump, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, was reportedly found among Cohen’s materials. Wolkoff allegedly told Cohen she had concerns about how inaugural funds were being spent.

Melania Trump severed relations with Wolkoff in February amid reporting that Wolkoff had received $26 million from the inauguration committee.

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