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New York Attorney General Sues Trump, His Kids, and Trump Foundation

New York Attorney General Sues Trump, His Kids, and Trump Foundation

Alleges “repeated self-dealing”

Thursday, New York’s Attorney General Barbara Underwood sued President Trump, his three oldest children, and the Trump Foundation.

Underwood alleges the Trumps intermingled funds, using the foundation as a “checkbook” for other business and non-profit ventures. She’s requesting more $2.8 million in restitution (not including penalties), dissolution of the foundation, and bar Trump and other board members from serving on charitable boards in New York.

From the New York AG:

Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, and its directors, Donald J. Trump (“Mr. Trump”), Donald J. Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump. The petition filed today alleges a pattern of persistent illegal conduct, occurring over more than a decade, that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump’s personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations. The Attorney General initiated a special proceeding to dissolve the Trump Foundation under court supervision and obtain restitution of $2.8 million and additional penalties. The AG’s lawsuit also seeks a ban from future service as a director of a New York not-for-profit of 10 years for Mr. Trump and one year for each of the Foundation’s other board members, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump. The Attorney General also sent referral letters today to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission, identifying possible violations of federal law for further investigation and legal action by those federal agencies.

As alleged in the petition, Mr. Trump used the Trump Foundation’s charitable assets to pay off his legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels and other businesses, and to purchase personal items. In addition, at Mr. Trump’s behest, the Trump Foundation illegally provided extensive support to his 2016 presidential campaign by using the Trump Foundation’s name and funds it raised from the public to promote his campaign for presidency, including in the days before the Iowa nominating caucuses.

“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,” said Attorney General Underwood. “This is not how private foundations should function and my office intends to hold the Foundation and its directors accountable for its misuse of charitable assets.”

The Attorney General’s investigation found that Trump Foundation raised in excess of $2.8 million in a manner designed to influence the 2016 presidential election at the direction and under the control of senior leadership of the Trump presidential campaign. The Foundation raised the funds from the public at the nationally televised fundraiser Mr. Trump held in lieu of participating in the presidential primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 28, 2016. In violation of state and federal law, senior Trump campaign staff, including Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski, dictated the timing, amounts, and recipients of grants by the Foundation to non-profits, as evidenced by communications between Campaign staff and Foundation representatives.

At least five $100,000 grants were made to groups in Iowa in the days immediately before the February 1, 2016 Iowa caucuses.

The Trump Foundation also entered into at least five self-dealing transactions that were unlawful because they benefitted Mr. Trump or businesses he controls. These include a $100,000 payment to settle legal claims against Mr. Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort; a $158,000 payment to settle legal claims against his Trump National Golf Club in 2008 from a hole-in-one tournament; and a $10,000 payment at a charity auction to purchase a painting of Mr. Trump that was displayed at the Trump National Doral in Miami. Following commencement of the Attorney General’s investigation, the Foundation paid excise taxes on three of the transactions and Mr. Trump restored funds for the transactions to the Foundation, but the Foundation has not paid excise taxes on the Mar-A-Lago or Trump National Golf Club transactions.

As described in the Attorney General’s petition, none of the Foundation’s expenditures or activities were approved by its Board of Directors. The investigation found that the Board existed in name only: it did not meet after 1999; it did not set policy or criteria for choosing grant recipients; and it did not approve of any grants. Mr. Trump alone made all decisions related to the Foundation.

Needless to say, Trump is not happy and promises not to settle. He tweeted:

NY’s former AG Eric Schneiderman resigned in disgrace last month after four women publicly accused him of physical abuse.

Full complaint here:

NY AG Sues Trumps, Foundation by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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Lawfare. Hillary first with her money launder slush fund foundation. Until then, I don’t care.

    Close The Fed in reply to locomotivebreath1901. | June 14, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Re: Locomotive Breath:

    Exactly. If they really cared about corruption of non-profits, Hillary and Bill’s groups would have already been prosecuted/pursued to the ends of the earth.

    Amazing how few legal problems the Clintons are having these days. Amazing.

    Kentucky dem ag sues Walgreen over opiods. Lawfare using taxpayer money is for profit as dems pay off their donating sponsors. With future payments assured.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to locomotivebreath1901. | June 14, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    would someone please give Barbara Underwood an old fashioned tar & feathering? That is one done with hot tar. This crap has reached ridiculous proportions.

    Also, Trump should move as much of his operation out of New York state as possible. Hit them where it hurts. That is what I did with my businesses in the seventies, I did not need the city, all they represented was addition expenses with no up side. They lost 57 years of revenue.`

Liberals always like to accuse the other side of what they themselves are doing.

Trump was a liberal paragon until he wasn’t. Now (pun intended) he has been deemed unworthy. I wonder if they exposed Schneiderman’s socially liberal (i.e. divergent) behavior in order to replace him with a relatively immune Underwood to progress the baby hunt.

Christ, if they are doing this over a charity that gave out more than it took in just imagine the la suit they are about to level at the Clinton Foundation!!! [insert this is my shocked face”].

The timing is to distract from the IG Report. The damning details are dripping out.

First, they’ll have to establish whether Trump had any intention of doing something wrong.

Exactly, this is to divert from IG report, right on cue!

Given Ms. Underwood extreme bias and lack of objectivity, he first round of motions should seek to remove the case from her office. Ms. Underwood has already abused her office by using the States Official Website to put out an anti-Trump political polemic after the D’Souza pardon.

    MIK in reply to clerk. | June 15, 2018 at 11:36 am

    She cannot be removed. In NY, only AG has jurisdiction over charities. Remember too, she has just been installed in the office by a NY State Legislature whose announced feelings about the President are less than positive to put it mildly. I have great respect for her as a lawyer, but she is a goldfish swimming with sharks in this position.

It doesn’t matter if you realize this is naked hypocrisy. In fact, that’s part of the point: they can give you the finger and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

“New York Attorney General Sues Trump, His Kids, and Trump Foundation”

Good lord…I think they’ll go after Barron’s dog next.

This is a declaration of war. It has to be met in kind.

Fire Sessions, hire an AG to go after klinton, obama, comey, soros, and the rest of the gang.

And let’s not forget Maxine Waters:


Again: this is war.

casualobserver | June 14, 2018 at 4:53 pm

The Dems are really amping up their law warfare crusade. Knowing they aren’t likely to jail many, the goal is to bankrupt as many as possible associated in anyway with Trump. And for those they can’t bankrupt, making life onerous is fine.

Associate with Trump and open your checkbook…

Duh Donald will settle this matter.

Watch ahd see…

    Of course he’ll settle it. It’s how even your clients get rid of nuisances.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 14, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Rags, you may be right that Trump or someone may really settle things, but not necessarily in they way you are suggesting. Even idiots can stumble into the right idea once in a while.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 15, 2018 at 8:02 am

    He and his co-defendants will settle the lawsuit because the suit is meritorious and they did as alleged.

    This is typical T-rumpian behavior.

Seriously, the Donald J. Trump Foundation has already admitted the illegal use of charitable funds:

In its previous tax filing in 2015, the foundation acknowledged violating a legal prohibition against a “self-dealing” that bars nonprofit leaders from funneling their charity’s money to themselves, their businesses or their families.

Now comes the time to pay the piper.

    Arminius in reply to gad-fly. | June 14, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    And you imagine that there were no consequences for the Trumps when they admitted to that in a TAX FILING? So the Trumps told either the state or federal tax authorities (or both) that they had violated the law, And the Feds/State people just said “fuggedabout it” instead of levying fines plus penalties?

    Do you actually have an IQ?

So, I’m sure that the fact that this lawsuit is filed and announced the same day that the incredibly negative FBI IG’s report comes out and just three days after Trumop’s incredible meeting with Kim and a week after a seemingly positive response to Trumps actions at the G7 meeting by Trump voters is all just a BBBIIIGGG coincidence. And, in New York of all places.

Timing people. Always watch the timing on these things. They do not happen by accident.

    Yeppers! 2015 beats today every time.

      Arminius in reply to gad-fly. | June 14, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      I see you didn’t provide an actual link. No doubt because if there was something to link to, it would say that the Trump Foundation had to pay back taxes and penalties based upon the revised tax filing.

      That’s what happens when you file a revised tax return. The IRS doesn’t simply ignore it; If you didn’t properly report your taxes and you owe the IRS more they WILL come after you for it.

      Clearly I asked a rhetorical question. You don’t have a measurable IQ.

      Mac45 in reply to gad-fly. | June 15, 2018 at 11:51 am

      There were improprieties in the dissemination of funds from the Trump Charity. However, that is not the reason for this filing. That is only the excuse. This suit could have been filed in 2015, 2016 or 2017. It was not. The former NYAG actually used the investigation as an appeal for campaign financing, but never filed a lawsuit. The normal action by the State of New York would be to close the charity and disburse the remaining funds to recognized charities, as well as barring those proven to have violated the NY laws governing the operation of charities for 10 years. Trump’s response is that when notified of the initial investigation and the “seizing” of the remaining $1.2 million in the Foundation’s assets, by the then NYAG, Trump closed the Foundation and offered to disburse the funds in accordance with NY law. The AG refused. So, Trump had already voluntarily acquiesced to all of the penalties and conditions required under NY state law, but this suit was filed anyway. Why? Simply for the embarrassment value. The Clinton Foundation, which is still the subject of an ongoing FBI/DOJ investigation for illegal activities, has never been the subject of any NYAG investigation, though it is based in that state and in apparent violation of NY state law [ ].

I wonder where the evidence for the specifically alleged transactions comes from.

I assume the real purpose of this lawsuit is discovery with an eye to leaking as much as they can, especially just before the 2018 midterm elections, and forwarding all of it to various members of the Democrat Party and the Deep State. The secondary purpose would be to take as long as possible, further sapping energy for Trump’s political agenda.

They’re going to want the tax returns Trump didn’t disclose and banking records for himself, his family, and all his companies. Criminally prosecuting Trump on a ticky-tack financial transaction would be a bonus.

    Arminius in reply to randian. | June 14, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    If gad-fly is to be believed (a very big if) then Trump and his foundation provided the evidence three years ago. So NY no longer has a case against Trump.

    Arminius in reply to randian. | June 14, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Yeah, gad-fly isn’t to be believed. Trump has already paid fines to the IRS for the past alleged self-dealing. The fines are miniscule, but he paid what the IRS demanded.

    The NY AG’s allegations appear to be a big fat zero. For instance, Underwood alleges that when Trump skipped a debate and instead held a fundraiser for his foundation instead that constitutes self-dealing. Because he and his campaign benefited from the positive publicity. That’s absurd as to constitute self-dealing you actually have to use the foundation’s funds to benefit yourself. I.e. to pay your corporate bills, to pay for personal bills, personal items, etc. If generating positive publicity somehow constituted self-dealing every private foundation in the country has committed self-dealing.