NY sues Trump Foundation for 'illegal conduct'

New York attorney general sues Trump and his children, alleging their charity engaged in 'persistent illegal conduct'

The lawsuit follows an investigation of the Trump foundation that began in June 2016 under the previous NY attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, who resigned in disgrace in May. Trump is returning from a vacation to Bedminster, N.J.

The attorney general of NY state sued the Donald J Trump charitable foundation, President Trump and three of his children on Thursday for violating state charity laws, alleging that the Trumps used charitable assets as "little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr Trump" and his companies.

Underwood asserted in the suit, among other things, that the foundation "was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their objective or legality".

Underwood said her office began probing the foundation in June 2016, when Schneiderman was still attorney general, and found that it operated without any oversight by a functioning board of directors. Stay tuned for updates.

"In 2016, the board knowingly allowed the foundation to be coopted by Trump's presidential campaign", the suit says.

Trump responded on Twitter, taking aim at former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned after reports of domestic violence abuse, and his successors. I won't settle this case!,' he wrote.

The statement went on: "The prior NYAG, who was recently forced to resign from office in disgrace, made it his stated mission to use this matter to not only advance his own political goals, but also for his own political fundraising".

The suit alleged that the charity also entered into at least five self-dealing transactions that benefitted Trump or his businesses.

These included a $100,000 payment to settle legal claims against the Mar-A-Lago resort; a $158,000 payment to settle legal claims against his Trump National Golf Club in 2008 from a hole-in-one tournament; and a $10,000 payment at a charity auction to purchase a painting of Mr Trump that was displayed at the Trump National Doral in Miami. He promised to shut it down in 2016 but could not while the NY investigation was ongoing.

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