NY Attorney General Sues Trump And His Kids For 'Persistent Violations' Of Charity Laws

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The New York attorney general has brought a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his children, alleging that the family violated a host of federal and state laws through "misconduct and a total lack of oversight" of the embattled Trump Foundation.

According to Attorney General Barbara Underwood, those running the foundation—the president, his sons Eric and Donald Jr. and daughter Ivanka—consistently and knowingly broke just about every federal and state statute governing the operation of non-profits. They are accused of illegally coordinating with Trump's presidential campaign, and overseeing a decade's worth of self-dealing transactions aimed at helping Trump's personal and business interests.

"As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his business to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality," Underwood said in a statement. "This is not how private foundations should function, and my office intends to hold the Foundation and its directors accountable for its misuse of charitable assets."

Filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday, the lawsuit seeks the dissolution of the foundation, and a ten-year ban on President Trump serving as a director of a New York non-profit. Underwood is also seeking $2.8 million in restitution plus additional penalties. The attorney general has sent referral letters to the IRS and the Federal Election Commission identifying possible violations of federal laws.

In one alleged violation, former Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski is accused of dictating the timing, amounts, and recipients of grants by the Foundation to non-profits, writing in one email: "Is there any way we can make some disbursements this week while in Iowa?" The foundation is also believed to have wrongfully used tax-deductible donations in at least five instances, allegedly including: a $100,000 payment to settle legal claims against Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida; a $158,000 payment to settle legal claims against his Trump National Golf Club in 2008 from a hole-in-one tournament; and a $10,000 payment at a charity auction to purchase a painting of Trump that was displayed at the Trump National Doral in Miami.

Predictably, the president is tweeting about the lawsuit, calling New York Democrats "sleazy" and claiming that Eric Schneiderman did not have "the guts" to bring this case. Underwood, who was the top appellate lawyer in the New York attorney general's office for a decade, replaced Schneiderman last month after he was accused of repeatedly assaulting women. Today's lawsuit caps off a two-year investigation opened by Schneiderman, who did not run Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, as Trump claims, but did endorse her and was one of 100 people Clinton picked to be on her primary campaign's "leadership council."

"This is a straightforward case of violation of the laws governing charitable foundations and nonprofit corporations in New York," Underwood told CNN Thursday. You can read the full complaint below:

Court Stamped Petition by Jake Offenhartz on Scribd

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