AG to shut Trump’s char­ity for ‘il­le­gal con­duct’

Irish Independent - - World News - Chris­tine Kim

THE New York at­tor­ney gen­eral has asked a judge to close down the Trump Foun­da­tion, ac­cus­ing it of “per­sis­tently il­le­gal con­duct” and cam­paign fund­ing vi­o­la­tions, and to bar Don­ald Trump from man­ag­ing a char­ity for 10 years.

The US pres­i­dent (in­set) is ac­cused of us­ing char­ity money to buy a $10,000 (€8,600) paint­ing of him­self to hang at one of his golf clubs, and of re­solv­ing a row about Mar-a-Lago with a dona­tion to char­ity, made with foun­da­tion funds. It is il­le­gal to spend char­ity funds on “pri­vate in­ter­ests”, and also breaks tax laws.

Mr Trump is also ac­cused of us­ing a fundraiser to drum up po­lit­i­cal sup­port for his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Bar­bara Un­der­wood, the at­tor­ney gen­eral, sub­mit­ted the doc­u­ments be­fore the state supreme court in Man­hat­tan yes­ter­day, af­ter a two-year in­ves­ti­ga­tion. She asked that the foun­da­tion’s re­main­ing $1m in as­sets be dis­trib­uted to other char­i­ties and that Mr Trump pay at least $2.8m (€2.4m) in resti­tu­tion and fines.

Ms Un­der­wood took over last month from Eric Sch­nei­der­man, who had opened sev­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Mr Trump, but re­signed amid al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct. “The Trump Foun­da­tion was lit­tle more than a cheque­book for pay­ments from Mr Trump or his busi­nesses to non-prof­its, re­gard­less of their pur­pose or le­gal­ity,” she said. “My of­fice in­tends to hold the foun­da­tion ac­count­able for its mis­use of char­i­ta­ble as­sets.” Mr Trump re­acted with fury to the fil­ing, and vowed to fight it in court. “The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now dis­graced (and run outof town) A.G. Eric Sch­nei­der­man, are do­ing ev­ery­thing they can to sue me on a foun­da­tion that took in

$18.8m and gave out to char­ity more money than it took in,

$19.2m,” he tweeted. “I won’t set­tle this case!

“Sch­nei­der­man, who ran the Clin­ton cam­paign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridicu­lous case, which lin­gered in their of­fice for al­most two years. Now he re­signed his of­fice in dis­grace, and his dis­ci­ples brought it when we would not set­tle.”

The Trump Foun­da­tion called the fil­ing “pol­i­tics at its very worst” and said the char­ity had

$1.7m re­main­ing, which the at­tor­ney gen­eral “has been hold­ing hostage for po­lit­i­cal gain”.

“The act­ing NYAG’s re­cent state­ment that bat­tling the White House is ‘the most im- por­tant work [she has] ever done’ shows that such po­lit­i­cal at­tacks will con­tinue un­abated,” the spokesman said.

Mean­while, the US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said tough sanc­tions will re­main on North Korea un­til its com­plete de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion, con­tra­dict­ing the North’s view that the process agreed at this week’s sum­mit would be phased.

“Pres­i­dent Trump has been in­cred­i­bly clear about the se­quenc­ing of de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion and re­lief from the sanc­tions,” Mr Pom­peo said af­ter meet­ing South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in and Ja­pan’s For­eign Min­is­ter Tara Kono in Seoul.

“We are go­ing to get com­plete de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion; only then will there be re­lief from the sanc­tions,” he said.

Rob­bie Wil­liams and Aida Gar­i­ful­lina per­form ahead of the match be­tween Rus­sia and Saudi Ara­bia which opened the 2018 soc­cer World Cup at the Luzh­niki sta­dium in Moscow, Rus­sia. In­set: Rob­bie ap­pears to make a rude ges­ture.

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