President Trump has agreed to shut down his embattled charitable foundation and distribute the remaining money to “reputable” groups, New York’s attorney general announced Tuesday.
State Attorney General Barbara Underwood secured a stipulation dissolving the Trump Foundation under judicial supervision, her office said. It was a primary goal of a lawsuit filed by her office in June.
The lawsuit against Mr. Trump and his children will continue for actions related to the charity’s operation.
Ms. Underwood’s office said the Trump Foundation “has signed a stipulation agreeing to dissolve under judicial supervision, with review and approval by the attorney general of proposed recipient charities of the Foundation’s remaining assets.”
The attorney general said Tuesday that her investigation found “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.”
“This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests,” she said.
Her lawsuit alleged “persistently illegal conduct” at the charity. Ms. Underwood is still seeking nearly $3 million in restitution and a court order that would ban the Trumps temporarily from serving on the boards of other nonprofits in the state.
The legal action claims that the president and his three eldest children violated campaign-finance laws and abused the foundation’s tax-exempt status. The foundation’s most recent tax return listed its net assets at slightly more than $1.7 million.
Mr. Trump allegedly used some of the charity’s money to settle legal claims against his business and to purchase art for one of his clubs. The president has denied any wrongdoing and said two years ago that he wanted to close the foundation, but the attorney general blocked that move during the investigation.
Trump Organization lawyer Alan Futerfas said in a statement, “the Foundation has been seeking to dissolve and distribute its remaining assets to worthwhile charitable causes since Donald J. Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. Unfortunately, the [state attorney general] sought to prevent dissolution for almost two years, thereby depriving those most in need of nearly $1.7 million.”
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