A new report from the Palm Beach Post reveals how a Trump inaugural ball raked in tens of thousands of dollars that promptly disappeared without a trace — despite federal regulations that required that it keep financial records.
The Asian Pacific American Presidential Inaugural Gala, which took place in a hotel in Washington, D.C. the night before Trump’s 2017 inauguration, raised thousands of dollars through donors and sponsors and then deposited it into an unknown bank account.
The Palm Beach Post reports that the ball’s leading sponsors included a casino based in the U.S. territory of Saipan that has been subsequently raided by the FBI, as well as “a Guam-based shipyard and a handful of Pacific Island hotel operators, all of which benefited from a foreign labor bill signed into law by Trump a year later.” These entities paid anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 each to sponsor the ball.
Adding to the intrigue, former Trump campaign aide Jason Osborne was one of the event’s top organizers — and he subsequently went on to lobby for the foreign labor bill that benefited the ball’s sponsors.
The event was hosted by the National Committee of Asian American Republicans, a registered political committee that is required by law to file reports on the contributions to the FEC.
However, the FEC has no records of any funds raised by the committee — and an executive director for the committee tells the Palm Beach Post that they know where the money raised for the inaugural ball went but said that “I don’t want to tell you.”