New York AG Says Trump Charity Funded Campaign

The New York attorney general filed suit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its board of directors on Thursday, including the president and his three eldest children, alleging a years-long pattern of illegal behavior, including self-dealing and unlawful coordination with Trump’s presidential campaign.

The suit, filed on the president’s 72nd birthday, brings back to the foreground a series of allegations and revelations regarding Trump’s charitable foundation during the 2016 presidential campaign, which showed the foundation engaging in behavior that was illegal at worst and misleading and dubious at best.

“As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality,” Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement. “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.”

Underwood took over the AG’s office last month, after the abrupt resignation of Eric Schneiderman amidst charges of sexual misconduct, but the office has long tangled with Trump, most notably in the case of Trump University. The Trump University case ended in a $25 million settlement for students who said they had been defrauded, which was finalized in April. The current investigation into the Trump Foundation dates to June 2016, according to the petition.

The lawsuit is a civil action, seeking the dissolution of the Trump Foundation and a prohibition on Trump and the other directors serving on the boards of other charities. Underwood also asks that the foundation’s $1 million in current assets be distributed to other charities, and that Trump pay at least $2.8 million in restitution. The AG’s office does not have criminal jurisdiction over charities, but it also sent referral letters to …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

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