Judge orders Trump to pay $2m for misusing Trump Foundation funds

Rudy Giuliani

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

James wanted the judge to award damages for the entire $2.8 million, while Trump argued that the foundation disbursed all of the funds to charitable organizations.

Former New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed the lawsuit in June of 2018 against Trump and three of his children- Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. -alleging that "Trump used the nonprofit Trump Foundation's money to settle business disputes and boost his political fortunes", the Washington Post reports.

The attorney general's office had sought several outcomes, including $2.8 million in restitution, plus penalties, and a ban on Trump and his children serving on the board of any other NY nonprofit.

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.

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"Mr Trump owed fiduciary duties to the Foundation", Scarpulla wrote in an order, meaning duties to safeguard the foundation's money.

The same day, USA magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accuses Trump of rape, sued the president for defamation after he accused her of making up the allegation. The money will go to a group of charities, and the foundation is in the process of dissolving. "My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law - not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the President of the United States".

Alan S. Futerfas, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said last December that "the Foundation has been seeking to dissolve and distribute its remaining assets to worthwhile charitable causes since Donald J. Trump's victory in the 2016 Presidential election".

Instead of fining him that amount, as the attorney general's office wanted, the judge trimmed it to $2 million and rejected a demand for punitive damages and interest.

"CREW first identified illegal behavior by the Trump [Foundation] when it gave an impermissible $25,000 political donation to support Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi while her office was reportedly considering joining a New York Attorney General suit against the Trump University", Bookbinder noted. "Now that this matter is concluded, the Trump Foundation is proud to make this additional contribution".

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