News comes today that amidst a slew of allegations of improper use of its funds that have led to a criminal investigation, Donald Trump has been forced to close the foundation named after him.
The dissolution of President Donald Trump’s charity resolves one element of the attorney general’s civil lawsuit against the foundation, which includes claims that the President and his children violated campaign finance laws and abused its tax-exempt status.
The lawsuit will continue in court because it also seeks two other outcomes: $2.8 million in restitution, plus penalties, and a ban on Trump and his three eldest children serving on the board of any other New York nonprofit.
The agreement to dissolve, signed by both the foundation and Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s office, also allows the attorney general’s office to review the recipients of the charity’s assets. The most recent tax return filed by the foundation listed its net assets at slightly more than $1.7 million.
The uncovering of where the money actually went will be interesting because Trump boasts about his charitable giving while not revealing any actual details. Trump sought to give the impression of being a philanthropist while being incredibly stingy with his money and as this long investigative report by David Farenthold from 2016 shows, he was mainly enriching himself in the process by ‘donating’ money to his own businesses. He would also grandly make public pledges and not follow through by giving the promised money, with that practice getting worse in recent years.
A months-long investigation by The Washington Post has not been able to verify many of Trump’s boasts about his philanthropy.
Instead, throughout his life in the spotlight, whether as a businessman, television star or presidential candidate, The Post found that Trump had sought credit for charity he had not given — or had claimed other people’s giving as his own.
Instead, The Post found that his personal giving has almost disappeared entirely in recent years. After calling 420-plus charities with some connection to Trump, The Post found only one personal gift from Trump between 2008 and the spring of this year. That was a gift to the Police Athletic League of New York City, in 2009. It was worth less than $10,000.
But what I found most telling about him being a cheapskate was this little item about the Trump foundation’s spending.
New findings, for instance, show that the Trump Foundation’s largest-ever gift — $264,631 — was used to renovate a fountain outside the windows of Trump’s Plaza Hotel.
Its smallest-ever gift, for $7, was paid to the Boy Scouts in 1989, at a time when it cost $7 to register a new Scout. Trump’s oldest son was 11 at the time. Trump did not respond to a question about whether the money was paid to register him.
He got the foundation to pay the $7 that was required to enroll his son in the Boy Scouts?
Man, that is going really low. But not really surprising, given whom we are talking about.