President Trump slammed New York’s “political hacks” and called out a ruling by the state’s Supreme Court ordering him to pay $2 million for misuse of campaign contributions.
A furious Trump lashed out at New York Attorney General Letitia James and others for years of “political harassment” in a statement following the ruling Thursday by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla.
(Video: Fox News)
“Mr. Trump’s fiduciary duty breaches included allowing his campaign to orchestrate the Fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the Foundation, to direct distribution of the Funds, and using the Fundraiser and distribution of the Funds to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign,” Scarpulla said in the ruling on the settlement in the 2018 lawsuit against Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump.
A civil lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General’s office last year under then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood accused the now-dissolved Donald J. Trump Foundation of violating campaign finance laws by misappropriating charity funds for Trump’s personal and political needs.
The lawsuit alleged that the $2.82 million donated to the foundation in an Iowa fundraiser for military veterans back in 2016 was used by Trump’s campaign.
Trump fired back in July, slamming Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of using the attorney general’s office as a “bludgeoning tool,” prompting a reply from James stating she was only doing her “duty.”
As the elected AG of NY, I have a sworn duty to protect & uphold state law. My office will follow the facts of any case, wherever they lead.
Make no mistake: No one is above the law, not even the President.
P.S. My name is Letitia James. (You can call me Tish.) https://t.co/GXkZ2QVWqE
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) July 1, 2019
Thursday’s ruling sparked another blistering rebuke from the president, who walked away from his New York residency last week and announced his permanent residence in Florida.
Trump cites taxes, Dem harassment as he bids farewell to New York, declares Florida home state https://t.co/G8oiOGh4ih pic.twitter.com/fPzDBJjkZg
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 1, 2019
Scarpulla ordered Trump to pay just $2 million without interest, instead of the entire $2.82 million, because the funds did ultimately go to support veterans.
“I am the only person I know, perhaps the only person in history who can give major money to charity ($19M), charge no expense, and be attacked by the political hacks in New York State,” Trump said in a statement. “No wonder why we are all leaving!”
“Every penny of the $19 million raised by the Trump Foundation went to hundreds of great charitable causes with almost no expenses,” he added.
STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP pic.twitter.com/EktztHfLk6
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2019
The funds were ordered to be paid to several nonprofit groups, including the Children’s Aid Society, the United Negro College Fund and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
A Trump Foundation spokesperson said they were “pleased” to donate the funds.
“Since its inception in 1987, the Trump Foundation has distributed over $19 million to hundreds of worthwhile charities with little to no expenses. More than $9 million came directly from President Trump,” the spokesperson said.
“Following the 2016 presidential election, the Trump Foundation publicly announced its intention to voluntarily dissolve and distribute all of its remaining funds to charity. Unfortunately, that donation was delayed due to the attorney general’s politically motivated lawsuit,” the spokesperson added.
“We are pleased that the court, in rejecting the attorney general’s frivolous request for statutory penalties, interest and other damages, recognized that every penny ever raised by the Trump Foundation has gone to help those most in need,” Trump Foundation spokesperson said. “Now that this matter is concluded, the Trump Foundation is proud to make this additional contribution.”
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