Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

New York attorney general sues Trump Foundation, alleges illegal self-dealing

New York attorney general sues Trump Foundation, alleges illegal self-dealing

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday to attack New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood after she sued him, his children, and the Trump Foundation.

Underwood said her office began probing the foundation in June 2016, when Schneiderman was still attorney general, and found that it operated without any oversight by a functioning board of directors. 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. But those presidential powers couldn't be applied to state level prosecutions such as the one in NY.

Trump tweeted that Democrats "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!,' he wrote. 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. She's seeking to ban Trump from serving as a director of a NY not-for-profit for 10 years.

The president is accused of using the charitable assets of the foundation to "pay off his legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels and other businesses, and to purchase personal items".

A section of the New York State lawsuit against the Trump Foundation
A section of the New York State lawsuit against the Trump Foundation

Nevertheless, as NY attorney general Ms Underwood has significant investigatory and prosecutorial power - and if she starts flushing the bushes of some of Mr Trump's more questionable charitable activities, there's no telling what she might turn up. While such foundations are supposed to be devoted to charitable activities, the complaint asserts that Mr. Trump's was often used to curry political favor or settle legal claims against his various businesses, and even spent $10,000 on a portrait of Mr. Trump that was hung at one of his golf clubs.

Trump has already paid more than $330,000 in reimbursements and penalty taxes, Underwood said in the suit. The AG's office wants the foundation dissolved.

"This is politics at its worst", the foundation said in a statement.

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