Questions raised over Donald Trump New Year's Eve party ethics

 
Catherine Neilan
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Party on? Or opportunity to lobby? (Source: Getty)

Donald Trump saw the New Year in with a lavish bash at his Mar-a-Lago private resort - where guests were charged up to $750 for a ticket to join him.

The 45th President was joined by his wife Melania and their son Barron, as well as his daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner and their children. Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump were also in attendance.

It's not clear if his family were charged for entrance, but those who did have to pay up found their bill had jumped up from last year. Pre-Presidency, members' tickets $525 and $575 for guests. This year members had to pay $600, with guests paying $750.

However, some experts have questioned the legality of this move.

Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer in the George W Bush administration, told the Guardian: “[Trump] can easily be contacted by members of Mar-a-Lago, so people who pay him or pay his company money are getting preferential access. If you go to the bar, you run into prominent government officials. So it’s lobbying, but it’s not lobbying that’s going to be disclosed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.”

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Trump's daughter Ivanka, husband Jared Kushner and their children (Source: Getty)

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Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton (Source: Getty)

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First lady Melania Trump (Source: Getty)

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(Source: Getty)

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(Source: Getty)

Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted new year wishes to his 45.5m followers - including "enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media".

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