The President of the United States is being sued by the state of New York for pulling illegal sh*t with his charity, namely violating campaign finance laws, self-dealing, and illegally coordinating with his presidential campaign. Oh, and the suit also accuses Trump of criminal perjury!
It is with a heavy heart I report to you that the president and his family, including White House advisor Ivanka Trump, have engaged in alleged illegal activity, even as they present themselves as beacons of moral conduct and shining examples of good behavior to the world.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed the petition at the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, and because it includes state crimes, Trump can't even pardon himself out of this one if he's found guilty.
I read through the lawsuit and the crimes are so sloppy it's hilarious.
Here's what the court filing from the state of New York reveals.
1. According to the Attorney General, "the Investigation revealed that the Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr. Trump or the Trump Organization."
Trump and his children (Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka—Tiffany and Barron, you're good) allegedly used the money donated to their charity to do such things as decorate golf clubs, pay off debts, and stage campaign events.
2. The charity's board was so fake, it hadn't met since 1999, and one dude didn't even know that he was on it.
"The Foundation's Board existed in name only. Board members failed to exercise their fiduciary duty to provide oversight and control of the organization for at least nineteen years, from 1999 through the present," the lawsuit says. "The Board had not met since 1999 and does not oversee the activities of the Foundation in any way."
During the investigation, a New York state investigator asked Trump Organization employee Allen Weisselberg if he knew that he was treasurer of the Trump Foundation. He didn't.
3. The "Board" allowed the Foundation to get co-opted by the presidential campaign, violating campaign finance laws.
In violation of state and federal law, senior Trump campaign staff, including Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski, dictated the timing, amounts, and recipients of grants by the Foundation to non-profits. pic.twitter.com/7MnLbwDqlY— New York Attorney General (@NewYorkStateAG) June 14, 2018
Trump Foundation, take a seat next to Stormy Daniels in the campaign finance violations booth.
4. Trump claimed to have held a fundraiser for veterans' organizations, lied about raising the money, and lied about donating the money he had lied about.
5. According to AG Underwood, the money they raised was controlled by the campaign, not the Foundation.
She cited an email in which then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said which veterans' organizations should receive the money. This blurring of political and charitable activity is illegal. "Mr. Trump’s wrongful use of the Foundation to benefit his Campaign was willful and knowing," she writes.
6. Trump's love of presenting oversize checks with his foundation's name on it at campaign events was not just corny, but illegal, too.
According to the suit:
Video news footage showing the Fed Ex envelope in which the check was delivered confirms that the check was sent by Mr. Lewandowski from his address at the Campaign, not by the Foundation. During the rally, Mr. Trump himself directly drew a connection between his Campaign activities and the distribution of checks by the Foundation and the impact that the Iowa Fundraiser and the distribution of proceeds from it had on his political polling numbers.
7. Trump didn't personally donate any of his own money to these veterans' groups, just other peoples' money he got through the foundation.
8. He signed, under threat of perjury, all of his IRS forms insisting that the Foundation didn't carry out political activity. It did.
9. The Foundation made another illegal campaign contribution, this time to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's reelection campaign.
Bondi then magically dropped her investigation into Trump University.
10. Under the section called "additional self-dealing," AG Underwood accuses Trump of using Foundation money to settle a lawsuit related to Mar-a-Lago.
THERE'S LITERAL RECEIPTS!
11. Foundation funds were also used for other fun self-dealing activities such as satisfying Trump National Golf Club obligations and promoting Trump hotels.
12. The AG referred the case to the IRS and the FEC to further investigate and escalate the legal drama.
We are seeking restitution of $2.8 million plus penalties, and we have sent referral letters to the IRS and FEC for further investigation and legal action.— New York Attorney General (@NewYorkStateAG) June 14, 2018
13. The suit asks to ban Trump, Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka from serving in leadership positions on actually real charities.
The State seeks to ban Trump for ten years, and the "kids" just for one.
If successful, the suit would also force the Trumps to pay $2.8 million in restitution and damages. The New York Times also explains that a victory for the State "would also force Mr. Trump to repay the foundation for up to double the amount of benefits he obtained after July 1, 2014 — a sum of millions."
Could this be something that Trump could actually face consequences for? Only time will tell!