The Trump Foundation is closing, but it’s not off the hook

President Donald Trump has agreed to close down his personal charity, the Trump Foundation, the NY attorney general said Tuesday, accusing it of engaging in a "shocking pattern of illegality" to advance his political and business interests.

Attorney-General Barbara Underwood and the foundation filed a joint stipulation with the court Tuesday laying out a process for shutting down the charity and distributing its remaining assets to other non-profit groups.

Raking through the foundation's records since 2016, Underwood found what she described as "a shocking pattern of illegality", which included not only various self-serving schemes to bolster Trump businesses and stroke Trump's ego but also multiple (and unlawful) expenditures to advance his presidential campaign.

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for the Trumps, responded in a statement that the lawsuit had delayed the foundation's plan to dissolve after Trump won the USA presidential election in November 2016. Trump Foundation lawyer Alan Futerfas said the three-decade-old foundation has been looking to fold since Trump got elected in 2016.

He called former state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a "sleazebag". The board hadn't met since 1999.

The suit claimed that up to $3m in such funds boosted Trump's campaign. Lewandowski wrote in a January 29, 2016, email to Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's chief financial officer.

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Even seemingly innocuous donations have been questioned by the lawsuit, including the Foundation's 1989 pledge of roughly $370,000 to refurbish a fountain on the edge of New York City's Central Park, which sits directly in front of one of Trump's flagship hotels. When asked about its policies, Weisselberg said: "There's no policy, just so you understand". According to the Washinton Post, the most the foundation ever had was $3.2 million in 2009. Trump's team blamed accounting mistakes. The lawsuit said Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski determined when and where money would be given away.

"Is there any way we can make some disbursements. this week while in Iowa?".

Under federal law, charities can not donate to political campaigns. Those agencies have not commented on the matter. Trump paid $20,000 for that six-foot tall portrait in 2007.

Alleged abuses included providing foundation funds to a Florida political campaign; settling a 2007 lawsuit between the City of Palm Beach and Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, and settling a lawsuit by a golfer who took part in a Trump-sponsored charity event in 2012. But what became of it after that is unknown. He assigned it a value of $700.

On this year's tax forms, however, the painting's value was listed at $0.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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