Lara Trump, President Trump’s daughter-in-law and senior campaign adviser, served on the board of a limited liability company through which Political Operation Trump has spent more than $ 700 million since 2019 , according to documents reviewed by the New York Times. She was also named on the drafts of the company’s incorporation documents.
The arrangement was never disclosed. One of the other board members and signatories to the LLC’s draft documents, American Made Media Consultants, was John Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew and a senior advisor to Trump. The LLC has been criticized for deliberately obscuring the ultimate destination of hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. Ms. Trump is married to Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons.
Ms. Trump was originally intended to be the entity’s president and Mr. Pence the entity’s vice-president, the documents show.
The president has spent millions of dollars campaigning on his own family businesses over the past five years. But the recently leaked documents show an even more complex mix of Mr. Trump’s political and family interests than previously known.
A spokesperson for the president, Tim Murtaugh, said that neither Ms. Trump nor Mr. Pence were paid by American Made Media Consultants for their services as members of the board of directors.
“Lara Trump and John Pence resigned from the AMMC Board of Directors in October 2019 to focus solely on their campaign activities. However, there was never an ethical or legal reason why they couldn’t sit on the board initially, ”he said.
Mr Murtaugh also said they were not being paid for the other positions they were listed as occupying.
Documents show that Sean Dollman, the campaign’s finance director, was also AMMC’s treasurer
By funneling large campaign expenses, such as TV and digital ad purchases, through an LLC, the Trump campaign and its joint committee with the National Party, called the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, were able to protect effectively many details of his expenses, such as who was paid and how much.
Other past campaigns, including Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012, have put in place similar structures. The deal with the AMMC was part of a complaint by the Federal Election Commission over the summer of a watchdog group that accused the Trump campaign of disguising the destination of spending.
The involvement of Mr. Trump’s daughter-in- is important, in part because questions have been raised in recent months about how much the campaign was spending and who was aware of it. The first re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, was kicked out over the summer and officials who remained on the campaign described a cash flow crisis.
Mr Parscale told The Times months ago that he made spending decisions in collaboration with the Trump family.
The president’s son-in- and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, who selected Mr. Parscale for the role, has positioned himself as the managing director of Mr. Trump’s reelection attempt.