After playing the role of the fish in the barrel…the 60-lb carp in the drywall joint compound bucket, to be exact…for the last two years, the Trump Foundation is discontinuing operations and disbursing any remaining funds to charities designated by a judge. This finalizes a decision announced by President Trump in December 2016.
President Donald Trump’s personal charity will shut down and disperse whatever funds it still has under a new agreement announced Tuesday by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.
The attorney general’s office sued the Trump Foundation in June, alleging the president and several of his children used it for their personal and political benefit. That lawsuit, which seeks millions of dollars in restitution, will continue, even as the foundation agrees to cease existence.
The agreement, which still must be approved by a judge, requires the Trump Foundation to submit a list of not-for-profit groups that will receive distributions from the remaining assets.
Underwood alleged in her lawsuit that Trump’s charity was, for years, “little more than an empty shell” with no oversight by a functioning board of directors, and she pointed out that the nonprofit had not had a board meeting since 1999.
Underwood said the foundation also made a series of questionable donations to other charitable organizations to settle legal claims involving Trump businesses, including his South Florida Mar-a-Lago retreat, while another donation went toward promoting Trump’s international hotels. The attorney general’s office also alleged that Trump handed over control of the charity to his presidential campaign in 2016, as it made strategic donations to charities and events in key campaign states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
This removes one of the pressure points on President Trump, personally, and on his family but let’s not fool ourselves. The Trump Foundation was a seething, swirling effervescing maelstrom of self-dealing and the fakest of fake philanthropy. Here is a sample of my coverage of the Trump Foundation:
Hopefully, President Trump takes some lessons from this experience. There are alleged to be as many 17 investigations now focused on President Trump and his family concerning their business dealings. The newly elected New York State Attorney General basically made prosecuting President Trump and his family a plank of her campaign platform. A lot of damage, real and perceptual, has been done. Now is the time for him to shutter or jettison any other business dealings that will end up distracting him from his duties.
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