AP NEWS

House committee seeks interview with key inaugural planner

April 4, 2019
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FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, file photo, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff leaves Trump Tower, in New York. The House Intelligence Committee wants to interview Wolkoff, a key planner of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a person familiar with the request tells The Associated Press. Federal prosecutors are investigating, among other things, whether foreigners illegally contributed to the inaugural events. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The House Intelligence Committee wants to interview — and has requested records from — a key planner of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday, adding to a growing list of inquiries into the funding of the celebratory events.

The request was revealed in a letter Trump’s inaugural committee received this week from an attorney for the planner, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to first lady Melania Trump who played a leading role organizing the inaugural parties.

The House Intelligence Committee’s request was first reported Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal .

The letter said that the House committee on March 19 requested Wolkoff provide unspecified records and also submit to a voluntary interview. It also showed that Wolkoff was subpoenaed to testify in early October before a federal grand jury in Manhattan, where federal prosecutors are investigating, among other things, whether foreigners illegally contributed to the inaugural events.

The House committee’s request was described to The AP by a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss it and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A spokesman for the House Intelligence Committee, Patrick Boland, declined to comment.

Calls to Wolkoff’s residence seeking comment Wednesday rang unanswered.

The person familiar with the matter said a sealed court order had prohibited Wolkoff from disclosing the federal subpoena she received for 180 days.

The inaugural committee raised an unprecedented $107 million to host events celebrating Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 but has drawn mounting scrutiny in recent months.

The latest request came about two weeks after the House Judiciary Committee, as part of a broad probe into Trump’s activities, asked the inaugural committee for a wide range of financial records. The inaugural committee also has received subpoenas from the attorneys general of New Jersey and Washington, D.C., as well as from federal prosecutors in New York.

The committee has maintained its finances were independently audited, and that all funds were spent in accordance with the law.

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This story has been corrected to show the proper first name spelling of Melania, not Melanie.

Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed reporting from Washington.