According to a report in The DailyMail, President Donald Trump admitted to “personally misusing” funds in his charity as part of his settlement in a civil lawsuit. The president has additionally agreed to pay $2 million to a group of nonprofit organizations as part of the deal.
Another caveat of his deal was that Trump agreed to restrict his involvement with other charity groups and admitted that he and his foundation engaged in ‘illegal political coordination with the Trump campaign’ during the 2016 election.
“Chiefly, Mr. Trump admits to personally misusing funds at the Trump Foundation, and agrees to restrictions on future charitable service and ongoing reporting to the Office of the Attorney General in the event he creates a new charity,” the New York Attorney General’s office said in a statement on the case.
Trump also admitted, “that he used Foundation funds to settle legal obligations of companies he controlled, and that the Foundation paid for a portrait of Mr. Trump that cost $10,000.”
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a suit on in June of 2018 against President Donald Trump, his foundation, and his three oldest children in an attempt to dissolve the charity because of what she calls “persistent illegal conduct,” The New York Post reported.
Underwood stated at the time that she believed The Donald J. Trump Foundation is “little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality.”
The Democratic AG wanted to not just abolish the charity, but was asking for $2.8 million in restitution be paid and that the renaming $1 million in charity assets be dissolved and passed on to other charities.
In her suit, Underwood outlined how her investigation found what they believe to be repeated misuse of nonprofit funds used to pay off personal debt, decorate a golf club and stage a multimillion-dollar giveaway at events during his 2016 campaign.
“This resulted in multiple violations of state and federal law,” she wrote in the complaint.
A foundation spokesperson pushed back at the lawsuit calling it, “politics at its very worst.”
“The Foundation has donated over $19 million to worthy charitable causes – more than it ever received. The President himself – or through his companies – has contributed more than $8 million,” the foundation said.
“The Foundation currently has $1.7 million remaining which the NYAG has been holding hostage for political gain. This is unconscionable – particularly because the Foundation previously announced its intention to dissolve more than a year and a half ago.”
The New York Attorney General has jurisdiction over the foundation because it is housed in Trump Tower, which is located in New York.
In addition to the monetary penalties and dissolution of the foundation, Underwood’s current suit is also seeking that President Trump be banned from leading any nonprofit for the next 10 years.
The Trump Foundation added: “The prior NYAG, who was recently forced to resign from office in disgrace, made it his stated mission to use this matter to not only advance his own political goals but also for his own political fundraising.”
“The acting NYAG’s recent statement that battling the White House is ‘the most important work [she] has [sic] ever done’ shows that such political attacks will continue unabated.”
Written by Savannah Pointer.