NY judge orders Trump to pay $2M over for misusing foundation

Clay Curtis
November 8, 2019

The New York Attorney General's office announced Thursday that a judge has ordered President Trump to pay $2 million in damages for improper use of funds at the Trump Foundation in connection with the 2016 presidential primaries and his own political purposes, as part of a lawsuit Trump and the foundation settled with state Attorney General Letitia James.

Underwood filed suit after a 21-month probe that she said had uncovered "extensive unlawful political coordination" between the foundation and the campaign.

The Trump Foundation shut down in December 2018 under court supervision and agreed to disperse the remaining assets to court-approved charities.

She said the money must be paid by Mr Trump himself.

On Monday, a United States appeals court ruled that he must release eight years of tax returns which he promised during the campaign to make public after an audit but has since refused to share.

Trump's fine and the charity's funds will be split evenly among eight organizations, including City Meals-on-Wheels, the United Negro College Fund and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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"My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law - not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the President of the United States", James said in a statement. His three eldest children, who were members of the foundation's board, must undergo mandatory training on the duties of those who run charities. Scarpulla cut that amount to $2 million.

Welcoming James' announcement, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) executive director Noah Bookbinder declared, "Today's settlement of the suit brought by the New York Attorney General's Office is a fitting and poetic end to this scandal".

The Trump Foundation said it was pleased by those decisions, claiming that the judge "recognized that every penny ever raised by the Trump Foundation has gone to help those most in need".

James wanted the judge to award damages for the entire $2.8 million, while Trump argued that the foundation disbursed all of the funds to charitable organizations.

Trump held the veterans fundraiser on January 28, 2016, the same night as the Fox News debate among the other Republican presidential candidates. The foundation acted as a pass-through for those contributions. Almost $3 million in donations were received, and subsequently "dispersed on the eve of the Iowa caucuses as directed by then-campaign chief Corey Lewandowski".

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 04: Eric Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Donald Trump, and Ivanka Trump arrive to The Opening Drive Party at Hyde Beach on March 4, 2014 in Miami, Florida.

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