NY attorney general sues over Trump's foundation - 6/14/2018 11:15:29 PM
NY attorney general sues over Trump's foundation - 6/14/2018 11:15:29 PM
New York Attorney General sues Donald J Trump Foundation
17 June, 2018, 12:41
The New York state attorney general sued US President Donald Trump, three of his children and his foundation on Thursday, saying he illegally used the nonprofit as a personal "check-book" for his own benefit, including his 2016 presidential campaign.
The state is seeking restitution of $2.8 million plus penalties, and sent referral letters to the IRS and FEC for further investigation and legal action.
Barbara Underwood said the charitable foundation had engaged in "unlawful political coordination" created to influence the 2016 election.
The president called the case "ridiculous".
In tweets, Trump vowed: "I won't settle this case!" The statement claims that the foundation has donated more money to charitable causes that it has received, with Trump having contributed more than $8 million himself.
In a statement the Trump Foundation defended its activities and said it had planned to wind up after Trump's election, but was held up by the NY probe.
"This is politics at its very worst", the statement said, noting that the former NY attorney general who began the investigation, Democrat Eric Schneiderman, was a vocal Trump opponent.
But Mr Schneiderman resigned in May 2018 after a former girlfriend accused him of domestic abuse.
She also recently accused Trump of "undermining the rule of law" with his pardon practices.
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Trump responded to the suit on Twitter, blasting "sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman".
Then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives on stage with his family to speak to supporters during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on 9 November, 2016.
Among them are a $100,000 payment to settle legal claims against Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort; a $158,000 payment to settle legal claims against his National Golf Club in 2008 from a hole-in-one tournament; and a $10,000 payment at a charity auction to purchase a painting of Trump that was displayed at the Trump National Doral in Miami.
She asked a state judge to dissolve the Trump Foundation in the filing, saying the president repeatedly misused the money within the nonprofit for his own use, including paying debts, according to a NY state investigation. The checks bore Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan along with the foundation's address.
In exchange for their tax-exempt status, charities are required to follow certain rules, among them a strict prohibition against getting involved in political campaigns.
But the foundation, however, ceded control of the funds to "senior Trump Campaign staff", including Corey Lewandowski, according to the lawsuit. The most potentially damning allegation involved then-candidate Trump's fundraiser that he staged instead of participating in a primary debate in Iowa in January 2016. Trump said the event would raise money to help veterans. Jerry Falwell, who was a force in GOP politics.
Thursday is President Trump's 72nd birthday.
The foundation also paid $5,000 to one organization for "promotional space featuring Trump International Hotels", and another $32,000 to satisfy a pledge made by a privately held entity controlled by Trump to a charitable land trust.
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