Trump Ordered To Pay $2 Million

President Donald J. Trump was ordered to pay $2 million to settle claims that funds from his foundation were used for his 2016 presidential campaign.

Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the New York Supreme Court wrote in her order that: “Mr. Trump breached his fiduciary duty to the Foundation and that waste occurred to the Foundation. 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.”

The New York Attorney General’s Office, then led by Barbara Underwood after the resignation of Eric Schneiderman, filed suit in June 2018 against the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its directors, which included the president, sons Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump, and daughter Ivanka Trump. In a Tweet shortly thereafter, Trump said he “will not settle this case.”

According to a press release today by Attorney General Letitia James, as part of the deal to settle additional claims against the Trump Foundation, “Mr. Trump admits to personally misusing funds at the Trump Foundation, and agrees to restrictions on future charitable service and ongoing reporting to the Office of the Attorney General in the event he creates a new charity. The settlements also include mandatory training requirements for Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump. Finally, the settlements name the charities that will receive the remaining assets of the Trump Foundation as part of its dissolution.”

A message seeking comment was sent to the White House. This story will be updated if there is a response. Early Thursday evening, the president tweeted a statement charging that the New York Attorney General’s office “deliberately” mischaracterized the settlement for “political purposes.” He described infractions as “technical violations” amid “incredibly effective philanthropy” and “politically motivated harassment” by the past three AGs.

The $1.78 million in assets currently held by the Trump Foundation, along with the $2 million in damages to be paid by Trump, will be disbursed equally to eight charities:

  • Army Emergency Relief
  • Children’s Aid Society
  • Citymeals on Wheels
  • Give an Hour
  • Martha’s Table
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • United Way of National Capital Area
  • U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

The lawsuit alleged that the foundation’s directors ignored their oversight duties under New York’s charity laws and that the senior Trump used foundation money for his own personal, business, and political interests, including the unlawful coordination with his 2016 presidential campaign.

“The Trump Foundation has shut down, funds that were illegally misused are being restored, the president will be subject to ongoing supervision by my office, and the Trump children had to undergo compulsory training to ensure this type of illegal activity never takes place again,” James said via a statement.

The 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, according to James.

“The Trump Foundation has shut down, funds that were illegally misused are being restored, the president will be subject to ongoing supervision by my office, and the Trump children had to undergo compulsory training to ensure this type of illegal activity never takes place again,” James said via a statement.

The Office of the Attorney General has entered into stipulation agreements as part of the settlement. The first stipulation took effect this past December when the foundation agreed to close and dissolve under court supervision.

Three additional stipulations were entered into last month. One stipulation ensures that the foundation’s remaining assets will go to reputable charities approved by James and that have no connection to Trump or his family members. Another stipulation ensures that Trump’s three adult children received training on the duties of officers and directors of charities so that they cannot allow the illegal activity they oversaw at the Trump Foundation to take place again. The third stipulation includes 19 paragraphs of factual admissions by Trump and the foundation of illegal activity, according to James. In the final stipulation, Trump also agreed to reimburse $11,525 to the foundation for its payment of auction items at a charitable benefit.