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Donald Trump fined $2m for misusing charity for political ends

Donald Trump fined $2m for misusing charity for political ends”

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to an array of charities to resolve a lawsuit alleging he misused his own charitable foundation to further his political and business interests.

The settlement brings an end to the lawsuit the NY attorney general's office filed against the Trump Foundation, claiming the president and his children repeatedly used the charity's funds to break campaign finance laws, abused its tax-exempt status, and engaged in a pattern of "illegal conduct".

Foundation lawyers have previously said the lawsuit is politically motivated.

That agreement also saw "the resolution of damages for alleged waste resulting from improper uses of Foundation assets, except for those arising out of the allegedly improper use of the Foundation and distribution of the $2,823,000 received by the Foundation ('Funds') from Mr. Trump's televised fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa on January 28, 2016", the judge said in the order (pdf). The Trump Foundation announced it was shutting down a year ago, amid allegations that the money was used for Mr. Trump's personal benefit. The attorney general's office sought a damages award of $2.8 million, but Scarpulla lowered that to $2 million, noting that the $2.8 million in contributions did end up going to veterans' charities.

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Judge Saliann Scarpulla said Trump breached his fiduciary duty to the Trump Foundation by allowing his campaign staff to plan a fundraiser for veterans' charities in the run-up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses.

The Trump Foundation said it was pleased by those decisions, claiming that the judge "recognized that every penny ever raised by the Trump Foundation has gone to help those most in need".

In one email, a Trump company vice president asked Lewandowski for guidance on precisely how to distribute the money raised. They include distribution of the remainder of the foundation's assets to charities approved by James' office, training for the president's children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., and 19 paragraphs of Trump's admissions of illegal activity. But according to court documents, the Trump Foundation improperly used $2.82 million it received from that fundraiser.



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