New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday that his office has launched an ongoing “inquiry” into whether the nonprofit Donald J. Trump Foundation is “complying with the laws governing charities in New York.”
The revelation about the Trump Foundation comes in the wake of numerous media reports that raised questions about whether the foundation’s operational and funding structures complied with tax laws governing nonprofits. The Huffington Post raised many of these questions in January.
Schneiderman is also leading a case against Trump and his associates over Trump University, the Republican presidential nominee’s now-shuttered seminar program.
The attorney general launched his case against Trump University in 2013 and has called the Trump U program “a fraud from beginning to end.”
Speaking on CNN Tuesday, Schneiderman said his office has been “looking into [the Trump Foundation], and we’ve had correspondence with them. I didn’t make a big deal out of it or hold a press conference.”
Trump has refused to answer questions about his namesake foundation, which has not received any money from Trump since 2008. Instead, the nonprofit giving outfit has been funded with money from people and businesses with close ties to Trump.
The Washington Post’s David Farenthold has reported that Trump used foundation money to purchase gifts for himself, and the foundation misreported a number of donations.
Trump’s charity foundation has also helped him to shore up advantageous political relationships. Earlier this year, he paid a fine of $2,500 after the Internal Revenue Service determined that he made an illegal contribution to a group backing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The $25,000 donation to And Justice For All, a pro-Bondi political action committee, violated the foundation’s tax exempt regulations.