New York State has filed a suit against President Donald Trump, his sons and daughter, alleging a pattern of “persistently illegal conduct” at their family foundation.
The state is seeking the charity’s dissolution.
While it carries the threat of multi-million dollar financial penalties, and the closure of the charity, the civil lawsuit is unlikely to lead to criminal charges against the president or his children.
The suit accuses the Donald J. Trump foundation of “extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump’s personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations.”
It says the real estate tycoon elected president in 2016 used charity funds from the foundation to pay his legal bills, promote his Trump-branded hotels, and for personal spending — including the ostensible charity purchase of a portrait of Trump that was then mounted on the wall at one of his golf clubs.
The lawsuit also claims Trump used the foundation illegally to raise $2.8 million to support his presidential campaign in a televised fundraiser on January 28, 2016 — held as he skipped a Republican presidential primary debate.
Trump has called the suit a “ridiculous case” and indicated he will fight it.