In a resolution of a case brought by New York’s attorney general Letitia James, a judge has ordered Donald Trump to pay $2 million to charities not of his choosing as a fine for the fact that he used his supposedly charitable foundation to pay for his campaign.
Judge Saliann Scarpulla said Mr Trump had “breached his fiduciary duty” by allowing funds raised for US veterans to be used for the Iowa primary election in 2016.
The money was raised in a televised fundraiser during a Republican primary debate that Mr Trump skipped.
“I direct Mr Trump to pay the $2,000,000, which would have gone to the Foundation if it were still in existence,” the judge wrote, saying it must be paid by Mr Trump himself and should go to eight charities he has no relationship to.
Mr Trump said the case had been resolved and that he was “happy to donate” $2m to the Army Emergency Relief, Children’s Aid Society, City Meals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, United Negro College Fund, United Way of Capital Area and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Ms James said Mr Trump had admitted to “personally misusing funds at the Trump Foundation”.
What I particularly liked was this little item at the end.
Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump – who were also directors of the Trump Foundation – are required to undergo mandatory training “on the duties of officers and directors of charities”, Ms James said.
Trump, in his usual braggadocio style, had vowed never to settle the case but he not only settled it and agreed to pay the fine but acknowledged wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
According to a statement by James’ office, the settlement requires the president to admit fault: “Chiefly, Mr. Trump admits to personally misusing funds at the Trump Foundation, and agrees to restrictions on future charitable service.” The Trump children also agreed to submit to mandatory training. “The Trump Foundation has shut down, funds that were illegally misused are being restored, the president will be subject to ongoing supervision by my office, and the Trump children had to undergo compulsory training to ensure this type of illegal activity never takes place again,” James said.
Given Trump’s repeated statements that as president he is abvoe the law, I am not sure why he settled this case without fighting it all the way.