Judge fines Trump $2 million for misusing charity foundation

  • 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) Evan Vucci

Associated Press
Published: 11/7/2019 5:02:11 PM
Modified: 11/7/2019 5:02:00 PM

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 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.




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