Trump Foundation shut down by the courts as a fraudulent charity.

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The Romulan Republic
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Trump Foundation shut down by the courts as a fraudulent charity.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-22 01:31pm

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/18/politics ... index.html
(CNN)President Donald Trump's personal charitable foundation has agreed to dissolve under judicial supervision amid an ongoing lawsuit concerning its finances, according to a document filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court by the New York state Attorney General's office.

READ: Agreement dissolve Trump's charitable foundation
READ: Agreement dissolve Trump's charitable foundation
The dissolution of the Donald J. Trump Foundation resolves one element of the attorney general's civil lawsuit against the foundation, which includes claims that the President and his three eldest children -- Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric -- violated campaign-finance laws and abused its tax-exempt status. Rather than operating it as a genuine charity, the lawsuit alleges, they instead allowed it to be used "as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests."
The agreement to dissolve, signed by both an attorney for the foundation and Attorney General Barbara Underwood's office, also allows the attorney general's office to review the recipients of the charity's assets. The foundation's most recent tax return listed its net assets at slightly more than $1.7 million.
The closure of Trump's nonprofit comes amid an escalation in the litany of criminal and other investigations touching almost every corner of Trump's business and political operations, including his presidential campaign, his inauguration committee and his family real estate business.
The lawsuit against the charity is one of two cases in which the President himself is accused of wrongdoing after federal prosecutors said in court filings earlier this month that Trump directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to make or orchestrate payments during the 2016 election to silence women who claimed sexual encounters with Trump. Trump has denied those claims.
Michael Cohen says Donald Trump knew hush payments were wrong
Michael Cohen says Donald Trump knew hush payments were wrong
The agreement filed Tuesday won't end the state's lawsuit against Trump's charity, which also seeks two other outcomes: $2.8 million in restitution, plus penalties, and a ban on Trump and his children serving on the board of any other New York nonprofit.
The office had objected to the charity's prior attempts to disband before the New York lawsuit was filed, saying it couldn't shut down while under investigation. Tuesday's agreement largely reflects a victory for the attorney general's office, including a requirement that the parties must jointly submit to the court a list of nonprofits that will receive the charity's remaining funds.
Underwood said Tuesday that the agreement "accomplishes a key piece of the relief sought in our lawsuit earlier this year."
"This is an important victory for the rule of law, making clear that there is one set of rules for everyone," she said in a statement. "We'll continue to move our suit forward to ensure that the Trump Foundation and its directors are held to account for their clear and repeated violations of state and federal law."
An attorney for the charity, Alan Futerfas, called the attorney general's statement "misleading," saying the foundation had been seeking to dissolve since Trump's election in 2016.
"Unfortunately, the NYAG sought to prevent dissolution for almost two years, thereby depriving those most in need of nearly $1.7 million," Futerfas said.
He added that the foundation had distributed millions over the past decade, including "$8.25 million of the President's personal money," though The Washington Post and others have reported that Trump contributed little of his own wealth to the nonprofit after 2006. "The NYAG's inaccurate statement of this morning is a further attempt to politicize this matter," Futerfas said.
In response, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, Amy Spitalnick, said the charity had been attempting to "dissolve without any oversight or accountability."
During a White House briefing Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to comment on the agreement concerning the charity.
The suit, filed in June, alleges that Trump and his children violated federal and state charities law with a "persistent" pattern of conduct that included unlawful coordination with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
Central to the lawsuit is a nationally televised charity fundraiser for military veterans that Trump held in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 28, 2016, just ahead of the Republican caucus vote there. The foundation received $2.8 million as a result of that event. According to the New York suit, Trump campaign staff then directed the disbursement of those funds for Trump's political benefit.
The lawsuit also alleges that Trump mined his charity for "personal enrichment," including using $100,000 from the nonprofit to settle legal claims against his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
The judge overseeing the lawsuit must approve the stipulation in order for it to go into effect. The agreement comes after a November ruling by Justice Saliann Scarpulla that allowed the lawsuit to move forward, denying a motion by the foundation to dismiss the case.
As the lawsuit progresses into the new year, however, Underwood won't be overseeing it. The attorney general's office is set to change leadership in January, with Letitia James replacing Underwood as the state's top law-enforcement official. James has vowed to pursue violations of state law by Trump and those connected to him, including continuing the case against his charity.
Also:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/19/opinions ... index.html
CNN)It's another week and yet another headline in the parade of investigations into Donald Trump, his family, and his businesses.

Tristan Snell
Tristan Snell
This time, it's the Trump Foundation's turn. After being used by Trump as a personal slush fund -- for money to settle legal disputes, for buying life-sized paintings of himself, and for engaging in campaign publicity stunts in Iowa -- the Trump Foundation is now being dissolved. Its remaining funds will be distributed to nonprofits, under judicial supervision, pursuant to an agreement with the New York Attorney General's Office, which has been investigating the foundation for years.
It would seem that at least one of the chapters of the Trump scandal saga has ended. Or has it?
The headline may be that the Trump Foundation is being dissolved. But the most important item in this news story is that the New York AG's lawsuit against the foundation will continue, seeking "$2.8 million in restitution, plus penalties, and a ban on Trump and his children serving on the board of any other New York nonprofit."
Buried in those simple facts is a wealth of information about what we can expect from this investigation going forward.
Trump Foundation agrees to dissolve under court supervision
Trump Foundation agrees to dissolve under court supervision
First, there is the restitution to be paid. In this context, that means New York is seeking refunds for donors whose money was mishandled by the Trump Foundation. This outcome would be similar to that of the New York AG's settlement with Trump University in 2017, in which $25 million was returned to students who were defrauded. The $2.8 million New York is now seeking would be paid for by Trump and his three eldest children, who are personally named as defendants in the case. With the foundation (the other defendant) now being dissolved, any liability will have to be shouldered by the Trumps alone.
Second, there is the personal ban on Donald, Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric from serving on other New York nonprofit boards. In order to achieve this outcome, the attorney general will want to show that each of the Trumps was individually responsible for the foundation's misdeeds. They were on the board of the foundation so there are questions as to what they knew about the foundation's activity and whether they personally directed any of it. That inquiry could end with the Trumps testifying in court.
Third, there is the matter of the fifth member of the five-person Trump Foundation board: Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, the primary holding company of Donald Trump's business interests. In August, Weisselberg received an immunity deal from federal prosecutors in the Michael Cohen investigation.
The proper way to view the Trump Foundation scandal
The proper way to view the Trump Foundation scandal
Weisselberg is directly implicated in the Trump Foundation lawsuit. He was compelled to give sworn testimony in the New York AG's investigation, and critically, he stated that he had been told to fly to Iowa for a fundraiser for veterans in January 2016, days before the Iowa Republican Caucuses. He was there to sign checks with the foundation checkbook: He was generally one of the five signatories for Trump-related bank accounts and he needed to be there in case Donald Trump wanted to start handing out checks on the spot.
So Weisselberg is right in the middle of one of the most important allegations of this case: That the foundation was illegally using its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to channel money for the purpose of benefiting Trump's presidential campaign. Weisselberg, too, may need to testify in court.
Finally, there is the very fact that Trump has made an agreement with the New York AG in the first place. This alone could have been a headline, given that Donald Trump regularly boasts that he never settles lawsuits against him -- and even tweeted "I won't settle this case!" in June of this year, about the foundation case. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted in defense of the "great work" the foundation has done and attacked the New York AG's office, along with the "corrupt Clinton Foundation."
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So much for all the winning that Donald Trump promised. Instead, the Trump Foundation case shows yet again that Trump will cut deals with prosecutors when it suits him and that he is not immune from justice, even though it sometimes seems to take forever to be served. This is all worth remembering as the scandals roll on. We have a long, long way to go.
New York AG is pursuing a ban on Trump, Don Jr, Ivanka, or Eric Trump ever being on the board of a non-profit in the state of New York. Which may force the Trumps to testify in court. :D
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"-The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

A promise never lived up to, but always to be aspired to.

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