Today, many Democrats celebrate as it seems the walls may finally be caving in on President of the United States, Donald Trump. An anonymous source told The Common Sense Network “a major chess piece has fallen”
US President Donald Trump’s troubled charity foundation has agreed to close down amid allegations that he and others illegally misused its funds. All of the Foundation’s money will be distributed to charities approved by the New York attorney general’s office after an agreement was made amid corruption claims levied against the president’s personal foundation.
A statement issued by New York attorney general Barbara Underwood said the Trump Foundation had signed a “stipulation agreeing to dissolve under judicial supervision” after a judge ruled in favour of Ms Underwood’s office as a part of an ongoing lawsuit alleging the charity was used by Mr Trump and his three adult children for personal and political gain.
“Chequebook for business and political interests”
“Our petition detailed a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more,” Ms Underwood said in a statement. “This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a chequebook to serve Mr Trump’s business and political interests.”
In the agreement, it was agreed that the Trump Foundation will be dissolved with oversight from the judiciary, and that all of the remaining assets will be redistributed to “reputable organisations” approved by Ms Underwood’s office.
The lawsuit against the charity was filed in June, and Ms Underwood’s office is seeking to bar Mr Trump and his three eldest children – Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr, and Eric Trump – from serving on the boards of other New York charities. The attorney general is also seeking $2.8m (£2.2m) in restitution.
An attorney for the Trump Foundation said in a statement that the attorney general’s characterisation of the agreement, and that it is an attempt to “further politicise this matter”.
Alan Futerfas, an attorney, said that the agreement came two years after the Trump Foundation initially attempted to dissolve and disburse the remaining funds to other charities.
The attorney general investigation followed after The Washington Post reported on apparent discrepancies at the charity, including documents that indicated Trump had used charity money to pay bills from his private businesses, buy art for Trump properties, and to make illegal campaign donations.
Trump has repeatedly denied using his foundation for personal or political gains and had indicated in late 2016 that he would like to shut down the entire operation. That attempt to shut down the charity was blocked by the New York attorney general citing the investigation, and the Tuesday agreement represents a rare concession of culpability amid the fervent claims that nothing untoward had been done.
Investigations into the charity uncovered frequent use of the foundation – which was set up as an independent entity – by Mr Trump for the benefit of his family. Among those benefits included a $264,231 (£208,000) gift to the Central Park Conservancy in 1989 that went to refurbish a fountain just outside of the Trump Plaza Hotel, and a $7 payment to the Boy Scouts of America that would amount to the enrolment fee to join the group when his son Eric was 11-years-old.
The attorney general’s investigation discovered further that the three adult children Trump had tasked with running the foundation had never held a board meeting, and that the most recent board meeting for the charity occurred in 1999.