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Friday, June 15, 2018

Trump's foundation is under legal eyes

Por Kvothe

Donald Trump's charitable foundation is little more than a device to punish rival businessmen and shore up the president's political image, said a lawsuit filed on last Thursday by the New York prosecutors. The Donald J. Trump Foundation "has been little more than a checkbook for Mr. Trump's personal payments or his business to nonprofit organizations, regardless of their purpose or legality", New York´s General Attorney Barbara Underwood said in the lawsuit, which requires the dissolution of the organization and the payment of 2.8 million in compensation.

The lawsuit alleges that the foundation helped fund Trump's campaign by raising funds at a televised event in January 2016, and allowed campaign staff to decide how to distribute the money. In a tweet sent Thursday, Trump called the demand "ridiculous" and said he will not try to reach an out-of-court settlement.

The president, however, said the same when a similar demand arose against Trump University, and in the end agreed to pay 25 million dollars last year in compensation.

Neither the foundation's attorney, Sheri Dillon, nor a spokesperson for the Trump Organization responded to messages asking for their comment. The rules of the foundation stipulate that its funds may be used "exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes" either directly or through other entities, the lawsuit contends.

Complying with the requirements of federal tax regulations, the foundation's regulations prohibit direct or indirect allocation of resources to benefit its executives or executives, or to benefit any political candidate.

Underwood's predecessor, Eric Schneiderman, opened an investigation into the foundation in 2016 when an article appeared in The Washington Post stating that the foundation's funds went to benefit Trump. Schneiderman ordered the foundation to cease its fundraising operations in New York.

At the time, the Trump campaign said it would cooperate with the investigation although it had branded Schneiderman as a "puppet" of Hillary Clinton, Trump's rival in the presidential campaign.

Schneiderman resigned last month amid accusations that he mistreated women with whom he left; he denies the accusations.

The lawsuit filed on Thursday and names as defendants the foundation and its directors: President Trump and his sons Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump.

The president also said on Twitter: "The dirty Democrats of New York and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, now disgraced and rejected in the city, are doing everything in their power to sue me and a foundation that raised 18.8 million dollars and gave charitable purposes more money than it received, 19.2 million dollars. I will not seek an agreement to end this litigation!".