Judge Fines Trump $2 Million For Misusing Charity Foundation

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    FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, La. A New York judge on Thursday, Nov. 7 ordered Trump to pay about $2 million to an array of charities to resolve a lawsuit alleging he misused his own charitable foundation to further his political and business interests. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

    NEW YORK (AP) – A judge Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to an array of charities as a fine for misusing his own charitable foundation to further his political and business interests.

    New York state Judge Saliann Scarpulla imposed the penalty after the president admitted to a series of abuses that were outlined in a lawsuit brought against him last year by the New York attorney general’s office.

    Among other things, Trump acknowledged he improperly allowed his presidential campaign staff to coordinate with the Trump Foundation in holding a fundraiser for veterans during the run-up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses. The event was designed “to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign,” Scarpulla said.

    The foundation will be dissolved and its $1.7 million in remaining funds will be given to other nonprofits, under agreements reached by Trump’s lawyers and the attorney general’s office.

    As part of those agreements , made public Thursday, the two sides left it up to the judge to decide what penalty Trump should pay.

    The settlement was an about-face for Trump. He and his lawyers have blasted the lawsuit as politically motivated, and he tweeted, “I won’t settle this case!” when it was filed in June 2018.

    Trump’s fine and the charity’s funds will be split evenly among eight organizations, including Citymeals on Wheels, the United Negro College Fund and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Attorney General Letitia James welcomed the resolution of the case as a “major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain.”

    “No one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the President of the United States,” said James, a Democrat.

    The president admitted, among other things, to improperly arranging for the charity to pay $10,000 for a 6-foot portrait of him. He also agreed to pay back $11,525 in foundation funds that he spent on sports memorabilia and champagne at a charity gala.

    Trump also accepted restrictions on his involvement in other charitable organizations. His three eldest children, who were members of the foundation’s board, must undergo mandatory training on the duties of those who run charities.

    Charities are barred from getting involved in political campaigns, but in weighing the Iowa fundraiser, Scarpulla gave Trump credit for making good on his pledge to give $2.8 million that his charity raised to veterans’ organizations.

    Instead of fining him that amount, as the attorney general’s office wanted, the judge trimmed it to $2 million and rejected a demand for punitive damages and interest.

    The Trump Foundation said it was pleased by those decisions, claiming that the judge “recognized that every penny ever raised by the Trump Foundation has gone to help those most in need.”

    Trump Foundation lawyer Alan Futerfas said the nonprofit has distributed approximately $19 million over the past decade, including $8.25 million of the president’s own money, to hundreds of charitable organizations.

    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.

    Instead, he held a rally at the same time as the debate at which he called on people to donate to veterans’ charities. The foundation acted as a pass-through for those contributions.

    James said the evidence of banned coordination between campaign officials and the foundation included emails exchanged with then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

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

    Trump also admitted in the agreements to directing that $100,000 in foundation money be used to settle legal claims over an 80-foot flagpole he had built at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, instead of paying the expense out of his own pocket.

    In addition, the foundation paid $158,000 to resolve a lawsuit over a prize for a hole-in-one contest at a Trump-owned golf course, and $5,000 for ads promoting Trump’s hotels in the programs for charitable events. Trump admitted these transactions were also improper.

    As part of the settlement, Donald Trump Jr. reimbursed the Trump Foundation for the cost of the portrait.

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    13 COMMENTS

      • Maybe if you knew the diffetence beteeen ‘whose’ and who’s’ you’d know that Demented Donald tried to rook the system and evade taxes with his fraudulent non-profit org. And again he got caught was found guilty and fined. LOL

      • “But whose the judge and who appointed him”
        what a disgusting line of yours. right away, a judge is being smeared, without a shred of evidence that he’s only doing his job as judge.
        shame on you.

    1. I’m generally a Trump supporter. When he is guilty, he is guilty. When he is not, he is not. The Dems’ obsession is psychotic. Vote Republican, and take back the House. These lying cheats deserve to be retired from political life. Can anyone identify what Congressional responsibilities they did besides their delusion that they need to conduct non-stop investigations of Trump?

      • The Democratic controlled House has passed over 200 bills which have been sent to the Senate for action. So far the Republican controlled Senate has refused to consider the bills, including one on universal gun checks.

        • One may be quite certain that very little if any of what this evil 116th Congress’ DemoncRATs passed should be ignored by the Senate, especially so-called universal background checks that are no such thing. You have to be particularly stupid or abysmally ignorant to not understand that few criminals intent on procuring a firearm don’t. The many of them there are couldn’t give one rats a** about your stupid background checks.

        • Thank you nachum for that beautiful piece of fake news and lies . It’s a nice democrates talking point . It’s easy to pass 200 bills if it’s all within one party and if it just regirgatates old views .
          How many bi partsain bills were passed including anti gun violence bills ?The only bill I know of is prison reform done by kushner . That’s where we need time to be spent . These guys gotto sit in a room and work out issues then pass bills . That takes lots of time and effort and tact to reach out to the other side. If you are busy investigating trump that leaves you with no time other than to copy and paste old talking pints and call that a bill .

          Your comment is as fake as your screen name

      • Wow. How could we have omitted the insights of Dan from Squirrel Hill. I’ve gone to the website, not impressed. Not because I don’t believe Obama never did anything wrong, but because the site appears to have been set up by a squirrel with roid rage.

      • haha – have you even read any of these so called “1,375 facts”

        280) Encouraged employers to use temp agencies

        304) Encouraged SEIU union to go on strike

        337) Had veterans arrested for visiting the Vietnam Memorial

        During the October 2013 government shutdown, Obama had veterans arrested for visiting the Vietnam Memorial – OBAMA did not arrest anyone, the security guards did their job by arresting trespassers

        362) Threatened to arrest people for telling jokes

        In October 2013, the Obama administration announced the following on loudspeakers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas:

        “Inappropriate remarks or jokes concerning security may result in your arrest.” – YES IF YOU JOKE ABOUT A BOMB AT AN AIRPORT, YOU FACE ARREST

        I encourage everyone to read this so called list because it is the biggest joke I have heard today, well except for Trump

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