Trump Foundation Woes: That $10K Portrait Didn't Help

Charity is shutting down, but New York state lawsuit continues
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2018 10:25 AM CST
Updated Dec 18, 2018 2:34 PM CST
President Trump is seen at a campaign rally on Oct. 31, 2018, in Estero, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(Newser) – President Trump's controversial charitable foundation is shutting down. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said Tuesday that the Donald J. Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve itself under the oversight of the courts and her office, reports ABC News. Earlier this year, Underwood sued the foundation, alleging that the Trump family used it illegally for their own political and economic benefit rather than as a charity. On Tuesday, she said the ongoing investigation found "a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation—including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more." The details:

  • Troubles not over: Just because the foundation is going away doesn't mean the lawsuit is. "We'll continue to move our suit forward to ensure that the Trump Foundation and its directors are held to account for their clear and repeated violations of state and federal law," said Underwood, per NBC News.
  • In defense: Foundation lawyer Alan Futerfas says Underwood is presenting a misleading account of the agreement to dissolve in a "further attempt to politicize this matter," reports the AP. He said the foundation had been seeking to dissolve voluntarily since Trump became president, but Underwood wouldn't allow it.
  • That portrait: An example of apparently iffy use of foundation money? The organization once paid $10,000 for a 4-foot-tall portrait of Trump to hang at one of his golf clubs, the Washington Post previously reported. Tax law experts suggested this would violate rules against "self-dealing," referring to a charitable group spending money on itself.

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