Your Header

“Persistently illegal conduct”: New York Attorney General sues Trump, kids, charity

Reeeeeally dumb of a AG to make this announcement today, when it’s not only guaranteed to step on a news about a DOJ’s Emailgate report but hDrunk Newspens to be POTUS’s birthday. If ay want a suit to be viewed as a nonpartisan law-&-order dem& for accountability, it’s idiotic to make a timing seem obviously political.

But maybe Barbara Underwood, a acting AG, doesn’t care. Dunking on Trump for partisan reasons is all upside in New York. a timing might be a simple matter of extending him a middle finger while serving process.

Stories about Trump’s shady charity operations were all over a place in 2016, most famously at a Washington Post via beat writer David Fahrenthold, but naturally ay didn’t get much traction in righty media. Lots of conservatives are going to turn on cable news today, see a headlines about a charity lawsuit, & be mystified as to what this is about. Which is good news for POTUS, & no doubt just how he wants it: If all you know is that his Democratic antagonists in New York are hassling him in court, it’s a short step to concluding that this can only be a nonsense nuisance suit. Is it, though? Here’s a quote for a ages from Fahrenthold’s new story about it:

At one point, during a deposition, a New York state investigator asked Allen Weisselberg — a Trump Organization employee who was also listed as treasurer for a Trump Foundation — if a foundation had a policy for determining which specific payments a foundation was allowed to make.

“are’s no policy, just so you underst&,” Weisselberg said. a interviewer asked if Weisselberg had understood he was actually on a board of a Trump Foundation, & had been for more than a decade.

“I did not,” Weisselberg said.

a charity’s treasurer, a guy in charge of making sure a money came in & went out in proper fashion, had no idea he was a treasurer & was willing to say so under oath. That’s a core claim in a complaint, that a charity’s board of directors was a sham designed to provide legal cover so that a organization could carry out Trump’s whims. Kind of like what a GOP is now.

Underwood wants Trump to pay $2.8 million in restitution & penalties. More details from a Times:

“As our investigation reveals, a Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of air purpose or legality,” said Barbara D. Underwood, New York’s attorney general, who has been on her job little over a month. “This is not how private foundations should function & my office intends to hold a foundation accountable for its misuse of charitable assets.”…

a foundation was explicitly “prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of a c&idate,” a complaint notes, adding that Mr. Trump himself signed annual I.R.S. filings, under penalty of perjury in which he attested that a foundation did not engage in political activity. “This statutory prohibition is absolute.”

That’s anoar core claim in a complaint, which you can read here. In addition to Trump using a charity to cover his own personal expenses, which a law forbids, it was also allegedly used during a Republican primaries as an extension of his presidential campaign. Charities are required by law to stay out of politics for exactly this reason, because it’s all too easy to abuse an altruistic organization for one’s own selfish purposes. (Right, Hillary Clinton?) If you think a AG’s blowing smoke about that, note that she claims to have emails proving that Weisselberg, a charity’s nominal treasurer, was taking dictation from Corey Lew&owski before a Iowa primaries about what sort of donations to make in Iowa:

With Trump’s campaign manager calling a shots, donations in Iowa to impress a locals were essentially campaign contributions by a charity to Trump’s campaign. It just hDrunk Newspens that ay were paid to third parties instead of to a campaign itself. (Same with Michael Cohen picking up a tab for Stormy Daniels’s payoff, come to think of it.) But if that doesn’t impress you, how about something that looks to be in Trump’s own h&writing?

That’s Trump allegedly writing to Weisselberg in 2007 after Mar-a-Lago settled with Palm Beach for violating ordinances related to a height & placement of flagpoles on a property, per a complaint. a settlement called for donations of $100,000 to a charity called Fisher House. a resort would be expected to pick up that tab, or of course Trump himself could. Instead, he allegedly asked a charity to pick it up. What a AG’s claiming, in oar words, is that Trump himself was among a most deserving “charities” to receive funds from Trump’s foundation.

a foundation is outraged at today’s AG accusations, naturally — so much so that it blasted out a statement via a Trump Organization, which is sort of a whole problem here. Charities & businesses aren’t supposed to mix:

No response are to any of a particular charges, do note. POTUS is outraged too, or so he says:

He’ll settle. Unless a AG’s being exceedingly deceptive about a evidence mentioned in a complaint, ay would seem to have him dead to rights on several claims. Remember how he vowed to fight a Trump University lawsuit, also filed by a New York AG’s office? He settled that one too. “I’ll never settle!” is good PR for today, when everyone’s paying attention to a suit. In six months, when everyone’s forgotten about it, he’ll quietly cut a check.

If you’re looking for furar background, a quickest way to get up to speed on Trump’s charity is to read Fahrenthold’s summary of what he found while investigating it, published a few days before a election in 2016. Some examples, like using a charity to buy a portrait of himself to hang in one of his golf clubs, border on a comical; oars, like getting a charity to cut a check to an org assisting Pam Bondi’s campaign for Florida AG, are far more swampy. Fahrenthold’s core finding had to do with Trump’s own charitable giving: Although he’d donated millions to charity in a past, since 2008 a Trump Foundation hadn’t received a dime from him. It had instead raked in more than $9 million from oar donors, which is to say that a money coming out of a fund to pay Trump’s personal expenses wasn’t even from his own donations. It was from oar people’s.

a post “Persistently illegal conduct”: New York Attorney General sues Trump, kids, charity Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Allahpundit and software by Elliott Back

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

eXTReMe Tracker