Judge orders Trump to pay $2M for charity foundation misuse

Donald Trump Ordered to Pay $2 Million for Misuse of Charitable Funds

Donald Trump Ordered to Pay $2 Million for Misuse of Charitable Funds

A NY state judge on Thursday ordered U.S. President Donald Trump to pay $2 million for misusing his namesake charitable foundation, resulting in funds being used to advance his 2016 presidential campaign.

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.

The attorney general, Letitia James, had been seeking about $2.8m in restitution from the president.

Attorney General Letitia James says the court's decision was a "major victory". "Mr. Trump and his campaign doled out $500,000 at a campaign rally in the days leading up to the first primary election in the nation, the Iowa caucuses, then took credit for all $2.8 million in grants the Foundation made". The event was designed "to further Mr. Trump's political campaign", Scarpulla said.

Those admissions include failure of the foundation's board to meet or engage in proper oversight, and details regarding coordination with Trump's 2016 campaign, including a Trump Foundation fundraiser that the campaign organized, and use of foundation funds to pay legal obligations, and for a $10,000 portrait of Trump. But according to court documents, the Trump Foundation improperly used $2.82 million it received from that fundraiser. The Trump Foundation announced it was shutting down past year, amid allegations that the money was used for Mr. Trump's personal benefit.

The Trump Foundation also agreed last month to distribute its $1.7 million in remaining assets to the same charities that will receive the $2 million in damages ordered on Thursday.

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The Trump Foundation said that money raised by the penalty will go to several charities, including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the United Negro College Fund.

The final outstanding issue, according to the judgement, was the amount that Trump would pay in damages over the Iowa fundraiser.

This case was prompted by David Fahrenthold's reporting in The Washington Post about the foundation, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017.

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

As they had earlier in the case, Trump's attorneys on Thursday also described the lawsuit as "politically motivated", an accusation the attorney general's office has disputed.

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