New York LawSuit Alleges Trump Charity Took Part In Illegal Conduct
Days after he learned that his attorney-slash-fixer Michael Cohen was leaning towards cooperating with federal prosecutors in exchange for a lesser sentence, President Donald Trump’s legal woes just took a major turn for the worse Thursday morning. The Washington Post broke the news that New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a lawsuit against Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, and sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr over “illegal conduct” within the president’s personal charity.
The charges allege that the president regularly misused his nonprofit organization “to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion dollar giveaway at his 2016 campaign events.” According to the Post, the damages being sought by the state of New York are far from nominal:
Underwood asked a state judge to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation. She asked that its remaining $1 million in assets be distributed to other charities and that Trump be forced to pay at least $2.8 million in restitution and penalties.
Underwood also asks that Trump be banned from leading any other New York nonprofit for 10 years — seeking to apply a penalty usually reserved for the operators of small-time charity frauds to the president of the United States.
The filing also notes that he has paid over “$330,000 in reimbursements and penalty taxes” since the end of the campaign.
In a statement, Underwood said:
“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”
Of significant note to the president and his legal team is the fact that this lawsuit was filed in state court, of which the executive branch holds no power of pardon.
Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)