Charges filed against Trump charity

More potential legal distractions and problems for Donald Trump and his children.

Reuters: New York sues Trump and his charity over ‘self-dealing’

The New York state attorney general sued U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his children and his foundation on Thursday, saying he illegally used the nonprofit as a personal “checkbook” for his own benefit, including his 2016 presidential campaign.

Barbara Underwood, the attorney general, asked a state judge to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation and to ban Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and his daughter Ivanka from holding leadership roles in New York charities. The three children joined the foundation’s board in 2006, although Ivanka stepped down to work at the White House in 2017.

Underwood said her office’s 21-month investigation, begun under her predecessor Eric Schneiderman, uncovered “extensive unlawful political coordination” by the foundation with Trump’s campaign, as well as “repeated and willful self-dealing” to benefit Trump’s personal, business and political interests.

“Mr. Trump ran the Foundation according to his whim, rather than the law,” the lawsuit said.

CNN: New York attorney general sues Trump Foundation

The complaint alleges that the Trump Foundation engaged in repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Trump’s personal and business interests.

“As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his business to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality,” Underwood said. “This is not how private foundations should function, and my office intends to hold the Foundation and its directors accountable for its misuse of charitable assets.”

The investigation also found that the board existed in name only and did not meet after 1999. Additionally, Trump allegedly made all decisions related to the foundation.

“This is politics at its very worst,” a Trump Foundation representative said in a statement. “The Foundation has donated over $19 million to worthy charitable causes — more than it even received. The President himself — or through his companies – has contributed more than $8 million. The reason the Foundation was able to donate more than it took in is because it had little to no expenses. This is unheard of for a charitable foundation. The Foundation currently has $1.7 million remaining which the NYAG has been holding hostage for political gain. This is unconscionable — particularly because the Foundation previously announced its intention to dissolve more than a year and a half ago. The prior NYAG, who was recently forced to resign from office in disgrace, made it his stated mission to use this matter to not only advance his own political goals, but also for his own political fundraising. The acting NYAG’s recent statement that battling the White House is ‘the most important work (she) have ever done’ shows that such political attacks will continue unabated.”

Fox News: New York AG files lawsuit against Trump Foundation for alleged ‘illegal conduct;’ Trump says he ‘won’t settle’

The New York state attorney general’s office on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation for alleged illegal conduct and “unlawful political coordination” to benefit personal and business interests, drawing a harsh Twitter rebuke from President Trump.

No one should be surprised by Fox promoting Trump’s views, and no one will be surprised by Trump reacting via Twitter.

The New York  Attorney General responded:

“This is not either a sleazy or political action. … this is a straightforward case of violation of the laws governing charitable foundations and nonprofit corporations in New York.”

It will be settled in the legal system – no doubt with a lot of public posturing.

But this is an awkward and unwelcome distraction for Trump. It also drags in his three children.

12 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  June 15, 2018

    Probably true, I would think.

      • Gezza

         /  June 15, 2018

        Should be a good battle then.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 15, 2018

          Wasn’t one of the donations to an artist to paint a huge portrait of Trump ?

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  June 15, 2018

        only this time the trust has to admit a heck of a lot more self-dealing than its admission in 2015. Preet Bahara describes it as being goverrned on a whim.

        A bit like trump’s bankrupcies eh … King Donny running for the hills and leaving others to cop the flack.

        Fortunately NY’s AG Barbara Underwood has no political motive in bringing the case – she’s not a political person. She isn’t even running for attorney general in the Autumn. And she has the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 15, 2018

          He kindly gave the students at his university a payout, just out of the goodness of his heart when they took action over the meaningless ‘degrees’ offered, as I remember.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 15, 2018

            Not that anyone with any sense would have expected this to be a real university.

  2. David in aus

     /  June 15, 2018

    They got Al Capone on IRS charges as they couldn’t make other charges stick. Is history repeating?

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 15, 2018

      Possibly. What a stroke of genius that was, He was in a cleft stick, as paying taxes meant proving where his income came from, which he obviously wouldn’t want to do, and not paying them was a crime as well. Bingo ! I hope that the woman who had this brilliant idea was given a big fat bonus. I wonder if she ran around crying ‘EUREKA !’

      I’d love to have seen Capone’s face when he realised that he was done either way.

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  June 15, 2018

    What will happen if (when) he’s convicted ?

    He can’t leave others to cop the flak indefinitely/

    • Gezza

       /  June 15, 2018

      He’ll just appeal.

      • Gezza

         /  June 15, 2018

        Eventually he’ll get one of his own judges. It’s the American way.