U US

Trump Foundation to be shut down amid corruption allegations

The Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity set up by US president Donald Trump in 1987, has agreed to dissolve and hand over the remaining $1.7 million in assets to various charities under the supervision of the New York attorney general, Barbara Underwood.

While the foundation may be dissolving, Underwood is also seeking "$2.8 million in restitution, plus penalties, and a ban on Trump and his children serving on the board of any other New York nonprofit." This means that while the foundation is gone, the trouble that Trump and his children will be facing continues. It remains to be seen whether New York will be successful in recouping the $2.8 million it wants, or if it will be successful in banning Trump and his children from serving on the board of other New York charities, as that is a separate case that must still go through the judicial process.

In the lawsuit against the foundation filed in June by Underwood, New York alleges that Trump and his children have used the foundation for “improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law.” 

Previously, Trump has said that he will never settle this case in court and said as much in a tweet in June after the lawsuit had been announced by the New York attorney general's office. More recently, Trump again commented on the case of the Trump Foundation, saying in a series of tweets how unfairly he is being treated by the justice system, and that he and his foundation have done nothing wrong.

He also claims in his tweets that "Now, as usual, I am getting slammed by Cuomo and the Dems in a long running civil lawsuit started by sleazebag AG Eric Schneiderman, who has since resigned over horrific women abuse, when I wanted to close the Foundation so as not to be in conflict with politics." It is unclear what Trump means when he says he wanted to close the Foundation, as there was nothing stopping him from doing so in the two years since he has been elected president. It is possible that he is saying that in an attempt to refute the accusations by lawsuit, which alleged Trump and his family used the Foundation for political gain, but it comes off as more confusing than clarifying. 

It is true that Trump stepped down as president of the Foundation on 27 Jan. 2017, three days after being sworn in as the US president, along with his daughter Ivanka Trump also stepping down. But two of Trump's sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. continued to serve on the board of the Foundation until it was dissolved. This brings into question how much control president Trump retained over the foundation, as two of his sons still remained on the board of the foundation while he was president.