New York state Attorney General Barbara Underwood has asked a judge to ban President Donald Trump from working with any nonprofit organization for 10 years from when he leaves office, alleging his foundation regularly broke federal and state law.
In a memo to New York Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla, Underwood, who is suing the foundation, claimed that for more than a decade t he Donald J. Trump Foundation engaged in “persistent violation” of laws after Trump used it for “his own personal benefit” to advance his personal and business interests, including during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Foundation funds—consisting primarily of money donated by persons other than Donald Trump—were used improperly, not once, but numerous times,” the court filing said . “The law is clear—private foundations cannot use their funds for the personal or business benefit of their directors, and they cannot engage in political activity.
“The Board abdicated its fiduciary duties entirely, leaving the Foundation to operate without any oversight, and permitted Mr Trump to use the Foundation’s assets to satisfy his and his for-profit companies’ legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels, to purchase personal items, and, in 2016—at the direction of Mr Trump and his presidential campaign—to promote Mr Trump’s candidacy for political office,” according to the filing.
The accusations from Underwood include Trump using the foundation’s money to pay for a $10,000 painting of himself at a charity auction at Mar-a-Lago. The portrait was later displayed at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.
Underwood said Trump was aware of the limitations of political activity by not-for-profits at the time and had signed documents under the penalty of perjury attesting his charity would not be used for political purposes.
“He even campaigned for the repeal of one prohibition on using charitable assets to intervene in a political campaign,” the filing stated. “He nevertheless caused his Foundation and his Campaign to work together for his political and financial benefit.”
Trump responded to the allegations in June when Underwood first filed a suit against him, the foundation, and three of his children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.
“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 won’t settle this case!” he tweeted at the time.
“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.”
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