Millions of dollars in unregulated cash, forked over to any politician seeking to hold a massive party to commemorate their own inauguration. What could possibly go wrong? While most officials have raised several millions of dollars, the Trump committee brought in a record-breaking $107 million in individual and corporate donations.
However, only half of the money was spent, and even those dollars seemed over and above what others have spent. While the inaugural committee claimed the overages would go to charities, it hasn't, the Daily Beast reported. Indeed, no one knows where the money has gone.
Committee chairman Tom Barrack claimed that the committee would file an annual report with the donations given to charity for the IRS. That was two months ago. They could file a 990 form with the Federal Election Commission, according to Brendan Fischer, director of FEC programs at the Campaign Legal Center.
“Even if the inaugural committee does need more time to file its 990, there is nothing stopping it from voluntarily disclosing how it spent the leftover funds, and whether any money went to charity,” he said.
The promises of disclosure were set for fall of 2016. Then the date became November.
“Now here we are in February and the public still has no idea how the inaugural committee spent $107 million,” Fischer said.
In September, Barrack announced they would donate $3 million to charities involved in hurricane relief in the gulf after Hurricane Harvey. So far, that's been the only disclosure.
The absurd amount of money raised by Barrack made Trump so happy that sources said he was even considered as a replacement for chief of staff John Kelly.
“Considering that the inaugural committee’s only job was to put on a few parties in January 2017, it is difficult to see why it should need any extensions” to the IRS filing deadline, Fischer said.
The constant delays “really make you wonder what it is they are trying to hide,” he noted.