On Tuesday, it was announced that Donald Trump’s charity foundation will be shutting down. The decision comes after it was alleged that the foundation has been misusing funds. According to BBC News, Barbara Underwood, the attorney general of New York, will supervise the distribution of the charity’s remaining funds.
The Donald J. Trump Foundation is now under the control of Underwood, who will has stated that her office will continue to pursue a lawsuit against the foundation. The lawsuit is seeking $2.8 million in restitution and penalties.
Additionally, Trump and his three oldest children — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump — are all barred from serving on the boards of this or any other New York State charity.
According to the agreement, the charity has 30 days to provide officials with a list of non-profit organizations that can accept the charity’s remaining money Once this has been fulfilled, the Organization will be dissolved under judicial supervision, headed by Underwood’s office.
The lawsuit, which was filed in June of this year, alleged that Trump was using the charity organization to serve his personal and political needs. Underwood later stated that the organization “was little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr. Trump or the Trump Organization.”
“Mr. Trump used charitable assets to pay off the legal obligations of entities he controlled, to promote Trump hotels, to purchase personal items, and to support his presidential election campaign,” she said in the court filing.
#BREAKING: We’ve secured a stipulation requiring the Trump Foundation to dissolve under judicial supervision, with our review of recipient charities.— NY AG Underwood (@NewYorkStateAG) December 18, 2018
The Foundation functioned as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s interests. Our lawsuit remains ongoing. pic.twitter.com/FsRubdNZs9
Trump had previously tried to block this lawsuit, arguing that a sitting president cannot be sued. However, that tactic did not work out, and the lawsuit is steaming ahead at full force. And it looks like there may be additional legal ramifications to this situation.
In addition to dissolving the foundation, the New York Attorney General’s office is working with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Department of Taxation and Finance in order to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant bringing criminal charges against the organization.
Incoming Attorney General Letitia James will continue to pursue the lawsuit in the coming months, as well as the investigation into criminal charges against the organization.
Trump is believed to have used the organization to fuel his own hopes of becoming president. In 2016, the foundation gave away $3.1 million, more than it did in the three years before and the year following the 2016 Presidential Election.
Trump and the White House have yet to comment on this ruling.