The sons of President-Elect Donald Trump have started a new Texas nonprofit organization called Opening Day 2017 that is offering access to the future president during inauguration weekend. To get these perks, million dollar donations are being made to the organization—donations that will be allegedly going to “conservation charities,” The Center for Public Integrity reports. Sounds a little mysterious, right? Well, on top of that, the nonprofit was started just last week on Dec. 14, and the donors may never be known by the public.
Those who donate will be given an opportunity to attend the organization’s “Opening Day 2017” event happening on Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration. Donors have been told they will be able to attend a reception with Trump, and those who donate $1 million or more will get a hunting or fishing trip with one or both of Trump’s sons. They’ll also get autographed guitars from an “Opening Day 2017 performer,” and tickets to other events, according to the draft of the invitation and brochure from TMZ. The brochure ends with the statement, “All net proceeds from the Opening Day event will be donated to conservation charities,” never naming any specific charities the money will be going to.
Because Opening Day 2017 is a nonprofit group and not a political organization, the law does not require them to release the names of their donors. Because of this, the organization has the ability to allow donors to anonymously write checks in exchange for spending time with the future president.
Looking for details of the event, Center for Public Integrity spoke with the CEO of Encore Live, Walter Kinzie, who says the event management company was hired for the Opening Day 2017 event by Opening Day 2017, a nonprofit group. He said, “The event is being put on by the Opening Day Foundation. There are a number of different individuals who are part of the foundation.” The organization is run by Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, plus Donald Jr.’s friends Gentry Beach and Tom Hicks.
Kinzie says that not all the information posted on the brochure released by TMZ is accurate. Participation in the event by members of the Trump family is still unconfirmed.
Larry Noble of the Campaign Legal Center told the Center for Public Integrity, “This is problematic on so many levels. This is Donald Trump and the Trump family using a brand new organization to raise $1 million contributions for a vague goal of giving money to conservation charities, which seems a way of basically just selling influence and selling the ability to meet with the president.” He added, “It’s really hard to identify all the problems when they’re so vague.” The unclear details of the event do make it seem pretty questionable, especially when the Trump family is already under so much scrutiny for possible conflicts of interest.