Court papers filed late Thursday allege that President Donald Trump used his personal charity to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign, according to a report from Law & Crime.
Trump must pay more than $8 million in fines, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.
According to James, the Trump Foundation failed to protect its funds from abuse. The 37-page court filing alleges that no member of the Trump family managed to provide evidence rebutting these claims, suggesting that a crime had indeed occurred.
“In this vacuum of oversight and diligence, Mr. Trump caused the Foundation to enter repeatedly into self-dealing transactions and to coordinate unlawfully with his presidential campaign,” the attorney general said.
James alleges illegal coordination between the Trump Foundation and the 2016 presidential campaign. The attorney general further alleged Donald Trump personally ordered his own charity to spend $100,000 on settling legal claims pertaining to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
The court filings also suggest that there was coordination between Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
“Do you have a list of which veterans charities you want these funds sent to and how much for each charity? Lastly, how much longer do you want to keep the TrumpforVets website up and running?” a Trump Organization official asked Lewandowski via email, according to court papers.
Because of these violations, the attorney general requests that President Trump personally pays $8.4 million in fines.
As Law & Crime notes, James’ filing appears to be a response to an earlier court submission from lawyers representing the Trump Foundation, who claimed that the ongoing litigation is politically motivated.
In December 2018, the Trump Foundation agreed to dissolve and give its remaining $1.7 million to various charities in New York. The decision came following lawsuits by former New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood.
The dissolution agreement, however, did not absolve the foundation of paying fines, so the state attorney general is now seeking $8.4 million from Donald Trump personally.
This lawsuit is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to President Trump’s legal troubles, but this is not unusual for the current president. As The Guardian reported, Trump has been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions over the past three decades.
In April 2018, for instance, Trump was forced to pay $25 million to students defrauded by Trump University.
As The Guardian notes, these legal issues pale in comparison to the trouble awaiting Trump if Robert Mueller — appointed to investigate whether the Trump campaign coordinated with official Moscow in 2016 in order to sway the election in his favor — proves collusion or conspiracy.