Report: Trump Used Foundation Money to Settle Lawsuits
According to the latest reports, Donald Trump allegedly used $258,000 worth of charitable donations his foundation received in order to pay out settlements in lawsuits.
The Hill reports:
Both settlements required Trump to make contributions to certain charities, which he reportedly did using his own foundation.
In a 2007 lawsuit filed by the city of Palm Beach, Fla., Trump agreed to make a $100,000 contribution to a veterans organization in lieu of paying $120,000 in fines over the size of a flagpole on his Mar-a-Lago resort, according to the newspaper.
In the other instance, a Trump golf course was sued by a golfer over a prize for a hole-in-one shot. The golf course signed off on a settlement requiring it to pay $158,000 to a charity of the plaintiff’s choice, the Post reported, but the donation came from the Donald J. Trump Foundation instead.
A number of experts interviewed by the Post said that the payments could violate laws prohibiting officers of charitable foundations from using their group’s money to benefit themselves.
Tuesday’s report also details how Trump used foundation money to buy a $10,000 portrait of himself and pay for $5,000 in advertisements for his Washington, D.C., hotel.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign jumped on the report, saying it shows that Trump is a “fraud who believes the rules don’t apply to him.”
“Clearly the Trump Foundation is as much a charitable organization as Trump University is an institute of higher education,” Clinton spokeswoman Christina Reynolds said in a statement.
“Trump’s version of charity is taking money from others to settle his own legal issues and buy at least two pictures of himself, which experts say is a clear violation of laws governing charitable organizations. It’s past time for him to release his tax returns to show whether his tax issues extend to his own personal finances.”
The Post has previously reported that Trump was fined $2,500 by the Internal Revenue Service for using his foundation to make a $25,000 contribution to a group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R), whose office ultimately rejected pursuing a fraud investigation against Trump University.
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