A New York State judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to a number of charitable organizations after finding that his now-defunct foundation engaged in persistent violation of the state’s charity laws.
According to ABC News, the payment wraps up “a case brought by the New York attorney general's office after the Trump Foundation held a fundraiser for military veterans during the 2016 campaign.”
"I direct Mr. Trump to pay the $2,000,000, which would have gone to the Foundation if it were still in existence, on a pro rata basis to the Approved Recipients," Judge Saliann Scarpulla wrote.
Trump and three of his children — Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka — were accused of “repeatedly using charitable donations for personal, political and business gains, including legal settlements, campaign contributions and even to purchase a portrait of Trump to hang at one of his hotels.”
The president and his attorneys have insisted the Trump Foundation engaged in no sketchy behavior, with Trump tweeting last year: “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.
Schneiderman was the state’s former attorney general.
But after reviewing the record, Scarpulla reached an entirely different conclusion from the story Trump has peddled.
"Mr. Trump breached his fiduciary duty to the Foundation and that waste occurred to the Foundation,” the judge wrote.
"Mr. Trump’s fiduciary duty breaches included allowing his campaign to orchestrate the Fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the Foundation, to direct distribution of the Funds, and using the Fundraiser and distribution of the Funds to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign.”