New York AG files lawsuit against Trump Foundation, alleging president used it as slush fund

June 14, 2018

New York’s attorney’s general filed a lawsuit Thursday to try to shut down President Trump’s charitable foundation, accusing him of abusing the foundation to help his political campaign, to cover his legal troubles and to enrich himself.

Barbara Underwood brought the lawsuit in state court in New York, and named the Donald J. Trump Foundation, Mr. Trump personally, as well as his children, Ivanka, Eric and Don. Jr.

Ms. Underwood, who took over as the state’s attorney general after Eric Shneiderman resigned amidst sexual misconduct allegations earlier this year, said the foundation’s board hasn’t even met since 1999, leaving Mr. Trump to run the operation “according to his whim.”

The attorney general said the president spent for his own needs, and mixed the foundation’s business with his presidential campaign’s operations. After a high-profile fundraiser for veterans in 2016, just as voting was beginning in the primaries, the campaign sought to time some of the veterans donations to boost Mr. Trump ahead of Iowa’s caucuses, the state says.

The lawsuit also points to the foundation’s purchases, such as a $10,000 payment at a charity auction for a painting of Mr. Trump. The painting was then displayed at a golf course owned by Mr. Trump in Florida, which the attorney general said personally enriched him.

“In sum, the Investigation revealed that the foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr. Trump or the Trump Organization. This resulted in multiple violations of state and federal law because payments were made using Foundation money regardless of the purpose of the payment,” she said in the 41-page complaint.

Mr. Trump lashed out against the lawsuit on Twitter, saying the “sleazy New York Democrats” sued his foundation, which he said gave out more money than it took in.

The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, 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 wont settle this case!... Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2018

....Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years. Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle. Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2018