Judge orders Trump to pay $2M in foundation case

Judge orders Trump to pay $2M in foundation case

A NY state judge on Thursday ordered US President Donald Trump to pay $2 million for misusing his namesake charitable foundation, resulting in funds being distributed to his 2016 presidential campaign.

The settlement brings an end to the lawsuit the NY attorney general's office filed against the Trump Foundation, claiming the president and his children repeatedly used the charity's funds to break campaign finance laws, abused its tax-exempt status, and engaged in a pattern of "illegal conduct".

Judge Saliann Scarpulla said Trump breached his fiduciary duty to the Trump Foundation by allowing his campaign staff to plan a fundraiser for veterans' charities in the run-up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses. "The court's decision, together with the settlements we negotiated, are a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain". She had initially been seeking about $2.8 million in restitution from the president. "In the first half of 2016 - at the height of the Republican primaries - Mr. Trump used Foundation money, raised from the public, to demonstrate his purported generosity and attract votes".

The event, which passed money through Trump's nonprofit, was designed "to further Mr. Trump's political campaign", Scarpulla said.

The Trump Foundation agreed to dissolve last December in the face of an investigation from then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

In a statement, a Trump Foundation spokesperson said the foundation was "pleased to donate an additional $2 million" to those organizations.

The $2 million is expected to go to Army Emergency Relief, the Children's Aid Society, City Meals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha's Table, the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of the National Capital Area and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The final outstanding issue, according to the judgement, was the amount that Trump would pay in damages over the Iowa fundraiser.

The order for Trump to pay comes follows extensive reporting in The Washington Post about alleged wrongdoing at the foundation.

Three of Trump's children - Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump - were also named in the lawsuit.

As they had earlier in the case, Trump's attorneys on Thursday also described the lawsuit as "politically motivated", an accusation the attorney general's office has disputed.

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