Donald Trump has paid $2m to eight charities as part of a court-ordered judgment against the president, who was accused of self-dealing and using charitable donations for his campaign.
In a settlement reached on 7 November, Mr Trump admitted to “persistent” violations of federal and state campaign finance laws by abusing the tax-exempt status of his Donald J Trump Foundation and using it as “little more than a chequebook” to support his campaign and his business.
He was ordered to make donations to Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of National Capital Area, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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Mr Trump also agreed to distribute $1.8m remaining in his foundation’s coffers among the same charities. In total, each of the eight received just over $476,000.
Last year, the president said on Twitter that he “won’t settle” the case and called it a political attack from “sleazy” New York Democrats.
A June 2018 lawsuit charged the foundation’s directors — which include Mr Trump’s children Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — with ignoring their oversight duties while Mr Trump used the foundation to support his campaign.
Then-Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s investigation revealed a “shocking pattern of illegality” that included “unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more.”
A settlement included the dissolution of the foundation, as well as 19 factual admissions of their illegal activity.
Those admissions include obscuring a campaign event as a veterans fundraiser in 2016, and giving the campaign “complete control” over the $2.8m raised at the event.
Mr Trump also admitted “that he and his campaign took credit for the grants that the foundation made” with funds he raised from the public.
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The president also admitted using foundation funds to “settle legal obligations of companies he controlled” and to pay for a portrait that cost him $10,000.
The settlement also requires Mr Trump’s children to receive mandatory training, which the Attorney General’s office says they’ve already performed, and ongoing reporting to the Attorney General in the event that Mr Trump starts a new charity.
In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James said: “Charities are not a means to an end, which is why these damages speak to the president’s abuse of power and represent a victory for not-for-profits that follow the law.
“Funds have finally gone where they deserve — to eight credible charities. My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the president of the United States.”