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Trump’s Inaugural Team Scrambled to Defend Staff and Record Haul

  • Tricky question a year after party: What did Rick Gates do?
  • Staffers came from Barrack’s Colony Capital, Manafort’s circle
Donald Trump speaks during his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Donald Trump speaks during his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The leaders of President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee saw trouble coming and tried to get ahead of it.

It was January 2018, a year after the black-tie balls and candlelight dinners in Washington. Journalists were asking questions about how the Presidential Inaugural Committee had raised -- and spent -- a record amount of money. The committee, known as PIC, was set to release additional details about its finances in public tax filings. Complicating matters, a key committee staffer, Rick Gates, had months earlier been indicted for lobbying work he’d done with Paul Manafort in Ukraine.