The New York attorney general has filed a law suit to close down the Trump Foundation, accusing the charity of a litany of fraudulent dealings and campaign funding violations, and attempting to bar President Donald Trump from managing a charity for 10 years.
Barbara Underwood, the attorney general, submitted the documents before the state supreme court in Manhattan on Thursday, at the end of a two-year investigation into the charity.
She took over last month from Eric Schneiderman, who had opened several investigations into Mr Trump, but was forced to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Mrs Underwood also sent referral letters to the US tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Federal Election Commission for possible further action, adding to Mr Trump’s extensive legal problems.
“As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality,” said Mrs Underwood.
“This is not how private foundations should function and my office intends to hold the foundation accountable for its misuse of charitable assets.”
Mr Trump reacted with fury to the filing, and vowed to fight it in court.
«The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000,» he tweeted.
«I won’t settle this case!
«Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years. Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle.»
Her office is seeking $2.8 million in restitution, and to bar the president from serving as a director, officer or trustee of another nonprofit for 10 years.
The petition also seeks to prevent Mr Trump’s three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric, from the boards of charities based in New York, or that operate in New York, for one year.
The ruling would have deal a blow to the work of the three siblings, who all have relationships with a variety of charitable organisations.