New York’s Attorney General Orders Trump Foundation to Halt Fundraising
The day after the Washington Post announced that it had determined that Donald Trump’s foundation hadn’t filed the proper paperwork in order to solicit contributions from New Yorkers, the state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman (shown), sent a letter to Trump demanding that his foundation cease soliciting contributions, file the appropriate paperwork, including a full audit, and past audits dating back to 2008 — and do it all within the next 15 days. Otherwise, wrote James Sheehan, the chief of the state’s charities bureau, “Failure immediately to discontinue solicitation and to file information and reports shall be deemed a fraud upon the people of the state of New York.”
Trump’s response was predictable:
While we remain very concerned about the political motives behind AG Schneiderman’s investigation, the Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.
The timing, at the very least, is suspicious. The Donald J. Trump Foundation has been in operation since 1987, with Trump being the only donor through 2004, donating $5.4 million over that period. Since then the foundation began to receive small donations totaling an estimated $4.4 million.
When pressed on the matter, Schneiderman said his office had been investigating the foundation, looking especially at reports that Trump had used some of the funds for his personal use. But charges were never filed.
Trump’s reaction to the original report by the Washington Post was similar to his retort to the state’s AG: “In typical Washington Post fashion, they’ve gotten the facts wrong. It is the Clinton Foundation that is set up to make sure the Clintons personally enrich themselves by selling access and trading political favors. The Trump Foundation has no paid board, no management fees, no rent or overhead, and no family members on its payroll.”
What’s also suspicious about Schneiderman’s demand is that he was the same AG who sued Trump over his Trump University back in 2013, claiming that it was a “bait and switch” operation. According to Schneiderman, the initial free 90-minute seminar about real estate investing was just a sales talk promoting a three-day seminar costing $1,495. He claimed further that that three-day seminar was another longer sales talk promoting his “Trump Elite” package, which included personal mentorship with Trump for $35,000.
A judge ruled against Trump in 2014 despite Trump’s showing that 98 percent of his students were happy with the seminar.
Finally, what makes political the sudden move to distract Trump and provide grist for the Hillary Clinton mill is that Schneiderman is an unabashed long-time Democrat and supporter of the Clinton campaign for president, as well as part of a group of liberal attorneys general that aimed to target scientists and organizations who dispute liberal climate-change propaganda.