The money raised by the Asian Pacific American Presidential Inaugural Gala, a pro-Trump event that drew more than 900 people who paid at least $75 per ticket, has disappeared without a trace, the Palm Beach Post reports. The gala, which took place the night before President Trump’s inauguration, was held in Washington D.C. at the Mayflower Hotel. One man who was in charge of raising money for the event stated that between $5,000 and $15,000 were collected from each of 20 listed sponsors, in addition to many smaller contributions. Now that money is seemingly gone, with the executive director of the host, the National Committee of Asian American Republicans, claiming he knows where the money went “but I don’t want to tell you.”
As a registered political committee, however, contributions like those collected at the Gala must be reported to the Federal Election Commission. None were. The guests at the event also included several Chinese nationals, casting further doubt, as foreign nationals are forbidden from contributing to American political committees. Checks were made out to the National Committee of Asian American Republicans and were not deposited within 10 days of the event. It is possible that the funds were “earmarked”, wherein the group would collect on behalf of another committee, but such an act would require disclosure which was not issued.