The attorney general of New York State, Barbara Underwood, filed a lawsuit on Thursday 14 June against US president Donald Trump and three of his children (all now adults). The suit alleges that Trump’s personal charity, the Donald J Trump Charitable Foundation, has been in violation of state laws governing non-profit organizations.
The accusations include the charge that the foundation was involved in his 2016 presidential campaign, in violation of campaign finance laws, and that it made transactions that benefited Trump’s business interests. For instance, the suit alleges that foundation assets were used for an out-of-court settlement regarding one of Trump’s golf clubs.
Should the suit be successful, the foundation would be dissolved and Trump and the three of his children implicated in the case would be barred from serving on the boards of other charitable organizations.
Underwood said on 14 June in a prepared statement that:
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.
And she alleged there was “a pattern of persistent illegal conduct” for over a decade.
Trump has dismissed the allegations and attacked those making them. He took particular aim at Underwood’s predecessor, Eric Schneiderman, who resigned as New York state’s attorney general in May. Trump tweeted: “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.”
The foundation itself released a statement claiming that the suit is politically motivated. It reads: “This is the NYAG playing politics and nothing more.”
Before Trump was elected president, a similar case was launched by the New York attorney general’s office, then led by Schneiderman, against Trump University alleging fraud. The case was settled out of court.
Featured image courtesy of McCauley’s Corner/Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?