Probe into Trump’s foun­da­tion

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A TOP New York law en­force­ment of­fi­cial has opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Don­ald J Trump Foun­da­tion, cit­ing wor­ries the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee’s char­ity has been in­volved in “im­pro­pri­ety”.

“My in­ter­est in this is­sue re­ally is in my ca­pac­ity as reg­u­la­tor of non­prof­its in New York state,” At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Sch­nei­der­man said.

“We have been con­cerned that the Trump Foun­da­tion has en­gaged in im­pro­pri­ety from that point of view,” added Mr Sch­nei­der­man, who has been at log­ger­heads with the bil­lion­aire for years over the Trump Univer­sity real es­tate pro­gram, which he has called “straight up fraud”.

The Trump Foun­da­tion has faced a se­ries of dam­ag­ing sto­ries, in­clud­ing by The Wash­ing­ton Post, which re­ported that the White House can­di­date him­self had not do­nated to his own char­ity since 2008.

The Post also found other ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, in­clud­ing that Mr Trump spent US$20,000 that had been set aside for char­i­ta­ble pur­poses to pur­chase a paint­ing of him­self.

And in another move, the foun­da­tion made an illegal $25,000 do­na­tion to a cam­paign group af­fil­i­ated with Florida At­tor­ney Gen­eral Pam Bondi in 2013 as she was con­sid­er­ing join­ing Mr Sch­nei­der­man’s fraud case against Trump Univer­sity.

“We’ve in­quired into it and we’ve had cor­re­spon­dence with them. I didn’t make a big deal out of it or hold a press con­fer­ence,” Mr Sch­nei­der­man said.

“But we have been look­ing into the Trump Foun­da­tion to make sure it’s com­ply­ing with the laws gov­ern­ing char­i­ties in New York.”

Democrats on the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee is­sued an open let­ter ask­ing US At­tor­ney Gen­eral Loretta Lynch to in­ves­ti­gate the do­na­tion to Ms Bondi.

“Af­ter re­ceiv­ing these funds, Ms Bondi de­clined to fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate Mr Trump’s busi­ness in­ter­ests. This fact pat­tern in­di­cates that these pay­ments may have in­flu­enced her of­fi­cial de­ci­sion not to par­tic­i­pate in lit­i­ga­tion against Mr Trump,” the let­ter read.

“A num­ber of crim­i­nal statutes would ap­pear to be im­pli­cated by this course of con­duct.”

Mr Trump, in turn, has lashed out at Mr Sch­nei­der­man per­son­ally for a law­suit the state at­tor­ney gen­eral filed in 2013 against the real es­tate mogul over the now-de­funct Trump Univer­sity, call­ing him “Clock­work Eric”.

Sev­eral peo­ple have claimed they were cheated by the univer­sity. –

Photo: AFP

Eric Sch­nei­der­man is at log­ger­heads with Don­ald Trump.

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