According to Time, President Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen, his former personal attorney, to have a Ukrainian oligarch donate $150,000 to his personal charity. The donation was in lieu of a speaking fee for an internet interview Trump gave at an economic conference.
Cohen testified that Oligarch Victor Pinchuk asked Trump to speak at a Ukrainian-American economic forum in 2015, during Trump’s presidential campaign. While he couldn’t attend in person, he was paid $150,000 for a Skype interview that lasted 15 minutes. Trump told Cohen to have the speaking fee be donated to his charity.
“I was directed by Mr. Trump to have the contract done in the name of the Donald J. Trump Foundation as opposed to Donald J. Trump for services rendered,” Cohen testified.
The donation was made in September 2015 — it was the largest donation that the foundation received that year from anyone other than Trump.
Trump’s foundation has been increasingly scrutinized since the presidential campaign. Last year, the New York attorney general sued the foundation. It has since agreed to dissolve in December and give away its assets. The donation is also being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton for the donations made to her private foundation while she was the Secretary of State. He called it the “most corrupt enterprise in political history.”