New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Tuesday that the Trump Foundation has signed an agreement to dissolve under judicial supervision. In a tweet on Tuesday morning, Underwood slammed the foundation, calling it “little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s interests.” She also vowed to press on with a lawsuit against President Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and the Trump Foundation.
You can read Attorney General Underwood’s full statement about the foundation’s dissolution here. You can read more about the Attorney General’s ongoing lawsuit against the Trump Foundation and members of the Trump family here. And you can read the agreement, signed by Trump’s lawyers, on how they will go forward to dissolve the foundation here.
The Attorney General Is Still Asking the Foundation for Millions of Dollars in ‘Restitution,’ in a Lawsuit that Names President Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump & Eric Trump
Back on June 14, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced that she had filed a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation and its board of directors. That amounted to a suit against President Trump and some of his closest family members, since his three oldest children (Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump) all sit on the foundation’s board and are named in the lawsuit.) The lawsuit claimed that there was “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 petition asked for restitution of $2.8 million.
The lawsuit claimed that “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.”
The Foundation Tried to Shut Down in 2016 but Was Barred from Doing So While the Attorney General Investigated
Donald Trump created the Trump Foundation in 1987; at the time, he said he would use the foundation to give away the profits from his new books, The Art of the Deal, to charity. But over the years, the foundation has come under intense scrutiny, with critics asking what the foundation was really doing with its money.
In 2015, the foundation admitted that it had violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing” — the prohibition forbids nonprofit leaders from funneling their charity’s money to themselves, their businesses or their families. The following year, the Attorney General’s office ordered the foundation to stop accepting charitable contributions. The foundation started to dissolve in the end of 2016, but the Attorney General’s office ordered it to remain open while the AG’s investigation into the foundation was continuing.
The attorney general’s press secretary, Amy Spitalnick, said at the time, “As the foundation is still under investigation by this office, it cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” said Spitalnick.