In Settlement, Trump Admits To Stealing $2M In Pledges To Veterans’ Charities
President Donald Trump admitted to a series of abuses regarding his now-defunct charitable organization, after a lawsuit revealed that he repeatedly misused funds donated to the Trump Foundation, according to The Associated Press.
Among other misdeeds, Trump admitted “to arranging for the charity to pay $10,000 for a 6-foot portrait of him” and “agreed to pay back $11,525 in foundation funds that he spent on sports memorabilia and champagne at a charity gala,” the AP reported.
The president also admitted to using charity funds to settle legal disputes and promoting his hotels in programs for charitable events.
“A review of the record, including the factual admissions in the Final Stipulation, establishes that Mr. Trump breached his fiduciary duty to the Foundation and that waste occurred to the Foundation,” Justice Saliann Scarpulla wrote in her ruling.
But the most egregious wrong involved a fundraising event Trump held in 2016 as he ran for office — a televised fundraiser claiming to benefit America’s veterans. The president said the money raised would go to charities, but as NPR reported, “according to court documents, the Trump Foundation improperly used $2.82 million it received from that fundraiser.”
The money "was used for Mr. Trump's political campaign and disbursed by Mr. Trump's campaign staff, rather than by the Foundation,” Scarpulla’s judgment indicated.
Scarpulla gave Trump some credit for eventually disbursing the raised funds to veterans groups, however, and issued a final judgment of $2 million that the president must pay to several charities.
"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," New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office filed the case, said in a statement. "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."