Trump Foundation Being Shut Down for Illegal Practices as Investigation Continues
The Trump Foundation is crumbling away
When he was elected President, one major potential concern that was brought up (amongst a plethora of others) was that Trump would unable to separate himself from his family business. After all, this was what the man had used to build up his reputation in the 70s, resulting in him getting lionized as a great businessman despite the fact that he was, in fact, a serial failure.
These concerns turned into a serious problem when Trump proved unable (unwilling?) to fully comply with the requirements of an elected official, prompting several lawsuits to be filed on the basis of Trump violating either of the Emoluments Clauses, which make it clear that an elected official cannot receive any monetary item, either domestic or foreign.
During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Donald Trump ducked out of a Republican debate, and instead held a gala fundraiser for veterans, a move seen by many as a way to ply voters’ patriotism, while also sidestepping the challenges of a debate. However the benefit became even more controversial when the funds raised weren’t immediately paid to veterans groups. And while the funds did eventually get passed on, under pressure, there was a general sense that perhaps without all the media interest in just what became of that money, it wouldn’t have been.
The charity at the heart of it was the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which then came under scrutiny by the press, and the New York Attorney General’s office. Headlines like “How Donald Trump Exploited Charity for Personal Gain” and “Trump promised millions to charity. We found less than $10,000 over 7 years” dominated the news feeds.
And now Trump is reportedly shutting down the “charity”, which has been the source of nonstop controversy for years now, dating back to well before the 2016 election. And ultimately, the Foundation is closing due to “self-dealing.” Self-dealing is a crime, defined by the IRS as using charity money for personal gain. Essentially, exploiting people’s altruism to fill one’s own pockets with money.
The Trump Foundation admitted to this last year in an IRS filing in which the the box indicating that the Foundation had transferred money to a “disqualified person” was checked off.
The Foundation has provided another explanation as to why they are closing office:
“The Foundation continues to cooperate with the New York Attorney General’s Charities Division, and as previously announced by the President, his advisers are working with the Charities Division to wind up the affairs of the Foundation. The Foundation looks forward to distributing its remaining assets at the earliest possible time to aid numerous worthy charitable organizations.”
Of course, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigation into the Trump Foundation continues. In a statement, the NY AG office said:
“As the foundation is still under investigation by this office, it cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete.”
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
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