New York Attorney General sues Trump and Trump Foundation

New York State Sues Donald Trump and His Non Profit for Self-Dealing

The suit accuses the president, along with Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., of violating multiple counts of state and federal law.

Its statement accused the NY attorney general of holding $1.7 million in foundation assets "hostage for political gain".

In addition to the $2.8 million in restitution, the AG's lawsuit seeks to ban Mr. Trump from serving on a ny non-profit board for 10 years and one year for the foundation's other board members, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump.

"This is politics at its very worst", the charity said in a statement, noting that the former NY attorney general who began the investigation, Democrat Eric Schneiderman, was a vocal Trump opponent.

Twice, Trump directed his foundation to make payments to settle legal claims against his private golf clubs.

"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 after filing the lawsuit on Thursday.

The lawsuit says the foundation illegally helped support the Republican's campaign by raising money at a nationally televised fundraiser in January 2016, then allowing campaign staffers to dictate how the money was spent in grants.

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Trump responded to the suit on Twitter, blasting "sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman".

Schneiderman started investigating the charity and ordered it to stop fundraising in NY in 2016.

Some $2.8 million went to the foundation, the lawsuit said, and the foundation wrongly ceded control of those funds to Trump's campaign staff, who wrongly disbursed grants at campaign rallies for Trump's political benefit. "I won't settle this case!"

Eric Schneiderman, Underwood's predecessor who started the investigation, resigned as NY attorney general last month in response to allegations he had abused multiple women.

The lawsuit paints a picture of habitual misuse of foundation funds for years, signed off on by Trump, who was president of the thinly staffed charity.

When Schneiderman sued Trump in 2013 over alleged fraud within the Trump University seminar program, Trump vowed he wouldn't settle the case.

Trump long feuded with Underwood's predecessor, Eric Schneiderman, who resigned last month amid a scandal involving allegations that he had physically abused a number of his girlfriends. During the 2016 race, the foundation became a virtual arm of Trump's campaign, email traffic showed, with his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski directing its expenditures, even though such foundations are explicitly prohibited from political activities. It seems rather coincidental that this law suit would be filed on Donald Trump's birthday, however this may be a politicization of a legitimate ongoing legal process. Underwood also sent referral letters to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission identifying possible violations of federal law for the agencies to investigate.

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