President Trump Ordered To Pay $2 Million For Misusing Trump Foundation Funds

Cheryl Sanders
November 7, 2019

A NY judge has ordered President Trump to pay $2 million to resolve allegations that he misused charitable funds for campaign purposes.

New York's attorney general filed a lawsuit previous year alleging Trump and his family illegally operated the foundation as an extension of his businesses and his presidential campaign.

It said the Donald J. Trump Foundation abused its tax-exempt status and violated federal and state campaign finance laws.

The foundation's current assets, $1.78 million, and the $2 million in damages will be distributed to various nonprofit groups, including the Children's Aid Society, the United Negro College Fund and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Trump Foundation agreed to dissolve last December in the face of an investigation from then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

Letitia James, the current NY attorney general, called the $2 million award and earlier settlement "a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain". As part of the settlement, James' office said, Donald Trump Jr. reimbursed the foundation for the portrait. The attorneys have also accused the state attorney general's office of playing politics.

"However, taking into consideration that the Funds did ultimately reach their intended destinations, i.e., charitable organizations supporting veterans, I award damages on the breach of fiduciary duty/waste claim against Mr. Trump in the amount of $2,000,000, without interest, rather than the entire $2,823,000 sought by the Attorney General".

At the time of the Iowa fundraiser, Trump was feuding with then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and refusing to participate in the network's final Republican presidential primary debate before the Iowa caucuses. We are pleased that the Court, in rejecting the Attorney General's frivolous request for statutory penalties, interest and other damages, recognized that every penny ever raised by the Trump Foundation has gone to help those most in need. The foundation acted as a pass-through for those contributions.

In one email, a Trump company vice president asked Lewandowski for guidance on precisely how to distribute the money raised.

In a statement, a Trump Foundation spokesperson said the foundation was "pleased to donate an additional $2 million" to those organizations.

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