Trump sued by New York AG
New York’s attorney general has sued US president Donald Trump, three of his children, and his namesake foundation, alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at then on-profit, including support for his 2016 campaign. A state judge has been asked to dissolve the Donald J Trump Foundation.
New York’ s attorney has sued US President Donald Trump, three of his children, and his namesake foundation, alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at the nonprofit, including support for Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Barbara Underwood, the attorney general, asked a New York state judge to dissolve the Donald J Trump Foundation, and impose bans on Mr Trump, his sons Donald Jr and Eric, and his daughter from holding leadership roles in New York charities.
It says the real estate tycoon, elected president in 2016, used charity funds from the foundation to pay his legal bills, promote his Trump-branded hotels, and for personal spending.
Ms Underwood said her office’ s 21- month investigation, begun under her predecessor Eric Schneider man, uncovered“extensive unlawful political co-ordination” by the foundation with Mr Trump’s campaign, as well as “repeated and willful self-dealing” to benefit Mr Trump’s personal and business interests.
Mr Trump attacked the lawsuit in a series of tweets that blamed Democratic politicians in his home state.
“The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000,” tweeted Mr Trump. “I won’t settle this case!”
The Trump Foundation issued a statement criticising the lawsuit as “politics at its very worst” and accusing the attorney general of holding its $1.7m (€1.4m) in remaining funds “hostage for political gain”.
The lawsuit adds to legal problems affecting Mr Trump, including a probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into whether Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. Mr Trump and Russia have denied there was any collusion.
The lawsuit filed in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan is seeking $2.8m of restitution plus penalties, a 10-year ban on Mr Trump serving as a director of a New York non-profit, and one-year bans for his children.
“As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a chequebook for payments from Mr Trump or his businesses to non-profits, regardless of their purpose of legality,” said Ms Underwood.
“That is not how private foundations should function.”
The foundation’s mission says its funds are to be used “exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes,” either directly or through other organisations, according to the court filing.
In keeping with federal tax rules, the charity’s incorporation documents say none of its resources can directly or indirectly go to the benefit of its directors or officers and none of its activities can benefit any political candidate.
Mr Schneiderman began investigating the foundation in 2016 following reports that its spending personally benefited the presidential candidate. Mr Schneider man ordered the foundation to stop fundraising in New York.