Prosecutors looking to nail President Donald Trump over the alleged misuse of his supposedly charitable foundation won’t have to look too hard for evidence. Trump saved it for them.
On Thursday ― the president’s birthday ― the New York state attorney general sued Trump and three of his children over their work with the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Attorney General Barbara Underwood described the foundation in a statement as “little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to non-profits, regardless of their purpose or legality.”
The 41-page complaint details a myriad of alleged wrongdoings, including the improper use of charity funds “to influence his election for president.”
Trump is also accused of using the charity’s funds to pay his business expenses. In one instance in 2007, he allegedly took $100,000 from the Trump Foundation to settle a lawsuit with the town of Palm Beach, Florida, after his Mar-a-Lago resort was found to be in violation of several ordinances regarding flagpoles.
A handwritten note obtained by prosecutors shows Trump directing his accounting staff to use the money to pay off the settlement.
“Staff followed Mr. Trump’s instruction to use the Foundation’s account to satisfy the settlement obligation, even though the Foundation was not involved in the lawsuit in any way,” the complaint reads.