A charitable organization founded by President Donald Trump is now facing a lawsuit from New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood who says the agency has a history of “persistent illegal conduct, occurring over more than a decade.”
The lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to have Trump Foundation shut down and restitution of $2.8 million.
Underwood also wants to ban President Trump from serving as director of any not-for-profit organization for ten years. Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, who are also named in the lawsuit, would be banned for a year each.
Underwood claims the Trumps used the Trump Foundation’s charitable assets to pay off legal bills, promote Trump hotels/businesses, and to purchase personal items. Along with that, Underwood claims the Foundation was also used to support the president’s 2016 campaign.
“As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality,” said Attorney General Underwood.
In one example, Underwood cites an email sent by then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to a Trump Foundation official in January 2016 shortly before the Iowa Caucus.
In the email, Lewandowski writes, “Is there any way we can make some disbursements this week while in Iowa? Specifically on Saturday.”
Underwood says there were then five $100,000 grants made by the foundation in the days leading up to the caucus.
The attorney general also says she has sent letters to the IRS and Federal Election Commission regarding “possible violations of federal law for further investigation.”