New York AG Presses Forward With Suit Against Trump's Charitable Foundation The state attorney general's office sued the Donald J. Trump Foundation in June, accusing it of repeatedly violating state and federal laws, but the foundation says the suit is politically motivated.
NPR logo New York AG Presses Forward With Suit Against Trump's Charitable Foundation

New York AG Presses Forward With Suit Against Trump's Charitable Foundation

Donald Trump, accompanied by Donald Trump Jr. (from left), Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump at an event in 2016. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood says the younger Trumps had exercised no real control over the Trump Foundation's activities, despite being nominal board members. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Evan Vucci/AP

Donald Trump, accompanied by Donald Trump Jr. (from left), Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump at an event in 2016. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood says the younger Trumps had exercised no real control over the Trump Foundation's activities, despite being nominal board members.

Evan Vucci/AP

The New York Attorney General's Office is urging a state court not to dismiss its lawsuit against President Trump's charitable foundation, saying the foundation has repeatedly violated state and federal laws.

Attorney General Barbara Underwood said the Donald J. Trump Foundation "was a shell corporation that functioned as a checkbook from which the business entity known as the Trump Organization made payments."

Underwood sued the foundation in June, saying it repeatedly solicited money from donors and then used it for campaign-related purposes, violating federal election law. The money was also used to benefit Trump' business interests, by settling legal claims against it, for example, Underwood said.

Underwood also said that Trump's three oldest children — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump — had exercised no real control over the foundation's activities, despite being nominal board members.

In August, the foundation asked the New York State Supreme Court to dismiss the suit, denying that it had violated any laws.

The foundation said the suit was politically motivated and that Underwood's predecessor, Eric Schneiderman, who initiated the investigation, had vowed to "lead the resistance" against Trump. Schneiderman resigned in May following allegations of physical abuse against women.

Underwood said in Thursday's filing that the foundation had misrepresented the claims against it and urged the court to allow the case to proceed.

Underwood is asking the court to dissolve the foundation and is seeking $2.8 million plus additional penalties.