Trump foundation lawsuit, New York judge orders Trump to pay $2 million.
A state judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to charity to settle a lawsuit accusing him and his family of illegally mismanaging his charitable foundation.
State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla of Manhattan issued her decision Thursday, faulting Trump for allowing his 2016 presidential campaign to orchestrate a televised fundraiser in Des Moines for the Trump Foundation, which then distributed $2.8 million to veterans charities that were also chosen by the campaign.
Trump and then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood reached a deal last year that saw the Trump family agree to dissolve the Trump Foundation and distribute its remaining $1.8 million in assets to a variety of charities, including the Army Relief Fund and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
But the two sides couldn’t reach consensus on penalties for the Iowa fundraiser, leaving it up to Scarpulla to order Trump to pay an additional $2 million to the same charities.
“Mr. Trump’s fiduciary duty breaches included allowing his campaign to orchestrate the Fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the Foundation, to direct distribution of the Funds, and using the Fundraiser and distribution of the Funds to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign,” Scarpulla wrote in her decision Thursday.
In a statement, Trump attorney Alan Futerfas said the Trump Foundation was pleased with the decision.
Underwood, a Democrat, first filed a lawsuit against Trump, his three eldest children and the Trump Foundation — which was registered in New York — in June 2018.
The lawsuit accused the Trump family of a wide variety of mismanagement, including using the charity to advance his self interests and boost his successful 2016 presidential campaign.
A large part of the suit focused on the Iowa fundraiser, which Trump held as counter-programming to a Republican presidential debate he chose to skip.
trump’s campaign staff organized the event and directed where the funds went. When Trump issued enlarged checks to the veterans organizations, they had his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan on the bottom.
New York law prohibits charities from participating in political events.
The lawsuit also accused the Trump Foundation board of being largely nonexistent, failing to hold a meeting since 1999 and allowing Trump himself to determine when and where contributions were made.
Several times, the foundation paid six-figure sums to other foundations to settle legal issues at Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s other clubs in violation of state and federal law.