N.Y. AT­TOR­NEY GEN­ERAL FILES SUIT AGAINST TRUMP

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Al­bany, N.Y. — A bomb­shell civil law­suit filed Thursday by New York state At­tor­ney Gen­eral Bar­bara Un­der­wood against Pres­i­dent Trump, his kids and their non­profit foun­da­tion al­leges im­proper co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the char­ity and the pres­i­dent’s 2016 cam­paign.

The law­suit, which was filed in Man­hat­tan state Supreme Court on Trump’s 72nd birth­day, also said the char­ity was used to help pay for Trump’s po­lit­i­cal, per­sonal and busi­ness deal­ings.

“As our in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­veals, the Trump Foun­da­tion was lit­tle more than a check­book for pay­ments from Mr. Trump or his busi­nesses to non­prof­its, re­gard­less of their pur­pose or le­gal­ity,” Un­der­wood said.

New York — New York’s at­tor­ney gen­eral sued Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his foun­da­tion Thursday, ac­cus­ing him of il­le­gally us­ing the char­ity’s money to set­tle dis­putes in­volv­ing his busi­ness em­pire and to boost his po­lit­i­cal for­tunes dur­ing his run for the White House.

The pres­i­dent called the case “ridicu­lous.”

The law­suit against Trump and the foun­da­tion di­rec­tors — his chil­dren Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka — seeks $2.8 mil­lion in resti­tu­tion, ad­di­tional un­spec­i­fied penal­ties and the dis­so­lu­tion of the foun­da­tion, which Trump had al­ready pledged to dis­man­tle.

The at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice de­tailed what it said was a closely co­or­di­nated ef­fort by Trump’s cam­paign and the foun­da­tion to bur­nish his po­lit­i­cal im­age by giv­ing out big grants of other peo­ple’s money to vet­er­ans’ or­ga­ni­za­tions dur­ing the run-up to the Iowa cau­cuses, the first pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nat­ing con­test of 2016.

“The foun­da­tion’s grants made Mr. Trump and the cam­paign look char­i­ta­ble and in­creased the can­di­date’s pro­file to Repub­li­can pri­mary vot­ers and among im­por­tant con­stituent groups,” Demo­cratic At­tor­ney Gen­eral Bar­bara Un­der­wood’s law­suit said.

It ac­cused the foun­da­tion of “im­proper and ex­ten­sive po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, re­peated and will­ful self-deal­ing trans­ac­tions, and fail­ure to fol­low ba­sic fidu­ciary obli­ga­tions.”

Un­der­wood re­ferred her find­ings to the IRS and the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion for pos­si­ble fur­ther ac­tion. IRS and FEC rep­re­sen­ta­tives de­clined to com­ment.

The Trump Foun­da­tion’s mis­sion says its funds are to be used “ex­clu­sively for char­i­ta­ble, re­li­gious, sci­en­tific, lit­er­ary or ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses,” ac­cord­ing to the law­suit.

In ex­change for tax-ex­empt sta­tus, char­i­ties are re­quired to fol­low rules that in­clude a strict pro­hi­bi­tion against in­volve­ment in po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns.

In tweets, Trump vowed: “I won’t set­tle this case!”

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