The attorney general of NY state sued the Donald J Trump charitable foundation, President Trump and three of his children on Thursday for violating state charity laws, alleging that the Trumps used charitable assets as "little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr Trump" and his companies.
Underwood said the foundation engaged in "extensive unlawful political coordination" with Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, conducted "repeated and willful self-dealing" to benefit his personal and business interests, and violated "basic legal obligations" for nonprofits.
Also named in the suit were Mr Trump's children, Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr.
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Trump responded on Twitter, taking aim at former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned after reports of domestic violence abuse, and his successors. But those presidential powers couldn't be applied to state level prosecutions such as the one in NY.
"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 on a foundation that took in $18.800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000", Trump wrote.
"As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their goal or legality", Underwood said in a statement. Underwood also sent referral letters to the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission identifying possible violations of federal law for the departments to investigate.
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The lawsuit alleges that the foundation paid $100,000 to settle legal claims against Mr Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort, $158,000 to settle claims against one of his gold clubs, and $10,000 to purchase a painting of Mr Trump to hang at another of his gold clubs.
Underwood also asked that Trump be banned from leading any other NY nonprofit for 10 years. She's also seeking a one-year ban for each of his three children that serve as board members.
The foundation's mission says its funds are to be used "exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes", either directly or through other organizations, according to the court filing.
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