New York Sues Trump, Ivanka, Don Jr, Eric Because It Turns Out Their Charity Was An Illegal Personal ‘Checkbook’ (Allegedly)

Well, Donald Trump and his kids are all being sued by the The New York attorney general for what sounds like massive fraud, which is obviously hilarious.

Specifically, attorney general Barbara Underwood is imploring a state judge to actually dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation citing what the state calls a “pattern of illegal conduct that includes improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law.”

It doesn’t get much funnier than that and I would note right off the bat that those allegations are bang inline with how you’d expect Donald Trump and his children to run a charity.

The State is also looking to force the Foundation to distribute whatever’s left (apparently some $1 million) to other, real charities and pay “at least” $2.8 million in restitution.

Oh, and Underwood wants Trump barred from running a New York nonprofit for a decade, a notable move as it “seek[s] to apply a penalty usually reserved for the operators of small-time charity frauds to the president of the United States”, to quote WaPo’s coverage.

The suit, embedded below, asserts that Trump’s Foundation was diverting charitable assets to whatever Trump wanted to use them for (maybe porn star payoffs, I don’t know). Look at this shit (second tweet):

This is the culmination of an investigation that began in 2016 and Underwood claims that the findings indicate “that the Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr. Trump of the Trump Organization.”

Imagine that! Hard to believe, no?

I’m just kidding. In fact, I’d be surprised if a Trump charity wasn’t being used as Trump’s personal checkbook.

The allegations laid out in the suit are truly egregious and I do encourage you to skim the whole thing for yourself. Here’s a bit of background information from The New York Times:

Ms. Underwood, who is a career prosecutor rather than a politician, recently accused Mr. Trump of “undermining the rule of law” with his pardon practices. She made the comment when she announced she was continuing an effort begun under Mr. Schneiderman to change New York’s double jeopardy law so that state and local prosecutors would have the power to bring criminal charges against aides to President Trump who have been pardoned.

The Trump Foundation has been in legal limbo since after the election, when the president wanted to dissolve it amid growing controversy about its practices. But in late 2016, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, Amy Spitalnick, said the foundation “cannot legally dissolve” while it is under investigation.

The attorney general’s referrals to the I.R.S. and the F.E.C. could add another wrinkle that might slow the foundation’s dissolution. The agencies are not known for their expeditious handling of enforcement actions, and the lawsuit notes that the foundation cannot legally complete its wind down “until the complaints to the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission have been resolved and it is determined if any penalties or fines will be imposed on the foundation.”

Suffice to say Trump is not fucking amused:

Maybe he can go this route:

Full lawsuit

Referral letters (sent to the IRS and the FEC elaborating on the accusations)

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