Donald Trump used $258,000 from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses, the Washington Post reports after a number of interviews and a review of legal documents. In doing so, Trump might have broken anti-"self-dealing" laws, which bar nonprofit leaders from using charity money toward personal expenditures or their own businesses. The settlements include a $100,000 donation Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club was supposed to make in order to get a lawsuit over $120,000 in unpaid fines dismissed; instead, the check came from the charitable Donald J. Trump Foundation, which is largely funded by donations from people other than Trump.
Similarly, one of Trump's New York golf courses was supposed to make a donation to settle a lawsuit, but instead the Trump Foundation made the $158,000 donation. Smaller amounts have been used for other questionable expenses, like $10,000 from the foundation being used to buy a portrait of Trump from a charity fundraiser, or $5,000 from the foundation being used to buy ads for his hotels. If the IRS goes after Trump for self-dealing, he could be forced to reimburse the foundation and/or pay penalty taxes. He could also be in hot water with the New York attorney general, which is looking into whether any state charity laws were broken by the foundation. Click for more from the Post.