The Herald

Trump to wind up charity foundation as it faces poll-spending investigat­ion


PRESIDENT-ELECT Donald Trump said he will dissolve his charitable foundation amid efforts to eliminate any conflicts of interest before he takes office next month.

The revelation comes as the New York attorney general’s office investigat­es the foundation following media reports that foundation spending went to benefit Mr Trump’s campaign.

Mr Trump said he has directed his counsel to take the necessary steps to implement the dissolutio­n of the Donald J Trump Foundation, saying that it operated “at essentiall­y no cost for decades, with 100 per cent of the money going to charity”.

He said: “The foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributi­ng millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcemen­t officers and children.

“I will be devoting so much time and energy to the presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world. I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest.”

Me Trump said he will pursue philanthro­pic efforts in other ways, but did not elaborated on how he would do so.

The Democratic National Committee criticised Mr Trump for what it called “a wilted fig leaf to cover up his remaining conflicts of interest and his pitiful record of charitable giving”.

Party spokesman Eric Walker also took a jab at the president-elect over his controvers­ial business holdings: “Shuttering a charity is no substitute for from his for-profit business and putting the assets in a blind trust – the only way to guarantee separation between the Trump administra­tion and the Trump business.”

A 2015 tax return posted on the non-profit monitoring website GuideStar shows the Donald J Trump Foundation acknowledg­ed that it used money or assets in violation of Internal Revenue Service regulation­s – not only during 2015, but in previous years.

Those regulation­s prohibit self-dealing by the charity. That is broadly defined as using its money or assets to benefit Mr Trump, his family, his companies or substantia­l contributo­rs to the foundation.

The tax filing does not provide details on the violations. Whether Mr Trump benefited from the foundation’s spending has been the subject of an investigat­ion by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderm­an. His spokesman said that the foundation “cannot legally dissolve” until the investigat­ion is complete.

The charitable foundation was ordered to immediatel­y stop fundraisin­g in New York just weeks before the presidenti­al election, with Mr Schneiderm­an saying it was not registered to do so.

 ??  ?? INQUIRY: Donald Trump’s foundation is set to close.
INQUIRY: Donald Trump’s foundation is set to close.

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