New York sues Trump’s foun­da­tion for steer­ing funds

The National - News - - NEWS WORLD -

A case filed by New York’s at­tor­ney gen­eral on Thurs­day ac­cuses United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump of us­ing his char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion to set­tle per­sonal busi­ness dis­putes and to bol­ster his po­lit­i­cal im­age through do­na­tions di­rected by his staff.

The Don­ald J Trump Foun­da­tion “was lit­tle more than a cheque book for pay­ments from Mr Trump or his busi­nesses to non­prof­its, re­gard­less of their pur­pose or le­gal­ity”, Demo­cratic At­tor­ney Gen­eral Bar­bara Un­der­wood said, as she sued to dis­solve the foun­da­tion and seek US$2.8 mil­lion (Dh10.3m) in resti­tu­tion.

The law­suit says the foun­da­tion il­le­gally helped to sup­port the Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date’s cam­paign by rais­ing money at a na­tion­ally tele­vised fundraiser in Jan­uary 2016, then al­lowed cam­paign staffers to dic­tate how the money was spent in grants.

In a cou­ple of tweets, Mr Trump called the case “ridicu­lous” and said he would not set­tle the law­suit.

Mr Trump made a sim­i­lar claim that he would not set­tle a law­suit which charged that his Trump Univer­sity mis­led cus­tomers, but then paid a $25m set­tle­ment last year.

Foun­da­tion at­tor­ney Sheri Dil­lon and a Trump Or­gan­i­sa­tion spokes­woman did not re­spond to mes­sages for com­ment.

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, the fil­ing notes. Ms Un­der­wood’s pre­de­ces­sor, Demo­crat Eric Sch­nei­der­man, be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing the foun­da­tion in 2016 after The Washington Post re­ported its spend­ing had ben­e­fited the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date per­son­ally. Mr Sch­nei­der­man or­dered the foun­da­tion to stop fundrais­ing in New York.

The Trump cam­paign, at the time, said the foun­da­tion in­tended to co-op­er­ate with the in­quiry. The cam­paign had pre­vi­ously called Mr Sch­nei­der­man “a par­ti­san hack” who backed Mr Trump’s 2016 Demo­cratic ri­val, Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Mr Sch­nei­der­man re­signed last month fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of abus­ing women he had dated; he de­nied the claims.

The law­suit was filed on Thurs­day against the foun­da­tion and its di­rec­tors, Mr Trump and his

The New York State At­tor­ney Gen­eral has ac­cused the pres­i­dent of us­ing char­ity re­sources for his 2016 cam­paign

chil­dren Don­ald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump.

Mr Trump quickly took to Twit­ter after the law­suit was filed, to say: “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. 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 2 years. Now he re­signed his of­fice in dis­grace, and his dis­ci­ples brought it.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.