Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Donald J. Trump Foundation sued by NY attorney general

Donald J. Trump Foundation sued by NY attorney general

President Donald Trump on Thursday angrily lashed out at the New York Attorney General's office after it sued his family for allegedly conducting multiple illegal operations via the purportedly nonprofit Trump Foundation.

"In 2016, the board knowingly allowed the foundation to be coopted by Trump's presidential campaign", the suit says. Trump's oldest children - Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump - are also named in the lawsuit because as board members, they were legally required to make sure funds weren't being misused. Schneiderman ordered the foundation to stop fundraising in NY.

"The foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr. Trump or the Trump Organization", Underwood said in a 41-page complaint filed in NY state court in Manhattan.

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Underwood said a 20-month state investigation found that the president had violated laws about tax-exempt foundations, including that their money is meant to serve the public good - not to provide private benefits to their founders.

At the very least, it appears the Trump world's celebrations of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's disgrace were a bit premature.

Trump promptly responded on Twitter, insisting that he "won't settle this case!" "This is unconscionable - particularly because the Foundation previously announced its intention to dissolve more than a year and a half ago". "Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle". Allegations of misdeeds connected to the Trump Foundation had swirled during the 2016 presidential elections, but the topic had been overshadowed during the early days of the Trump presidency. "The acting NYAG's recent statement that battling the White House is "the most important work [she] have ever done" shows that such political attacks will continue unabated".

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The suit also alleges that the Trump charity raised in excess of $2.8m "in a manner created to influence the 2016 presidential election at the direction and under the control of senior leadership of the Trump presidential campaign".

In one significant incident, Trump raised money for the foundation during a January 2016 televised veterans' fundraiser he held instead of participating in the Iowa primary debate.

In a couple of tweets, Trump called the case "ridiculous" and said he would not settle the lawsuit. The suit seeks $2.8 million in restitution and the dissolution of the foundation.

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