New York AG sues Trump Foundation over 'persistent illegal conduct'

New York AG sues Trump Foundation over 'persistent illegal conduct'

New York's attorney general is suing Donald Trump, his children and the Trump Foundation, alleging what she called "extensive and persistent violations of state and federal law".

Barbara Underwood said the charitable foundation had engaged in "unlawful political coordination" created to influence the 2016 election.

Underwood is seeking $2.8 million in restitution plus additional penalties, as well as the dissolving of the Trump Foundation under court supervision.

Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump were also named in the lawsuit because they have been official board members of the Donald J. Trump Foundation for years. But those presidential powers couldn't be applied to state level prosecutions such as the one in NY.

The president quickly took to Twitter to respond to the accusations, hitting out at "The sleazy New York Democrats" and vowing not to settle the case. Trump allegedly used the Donald J. Trump Foundation to pay off creditors, settle legal disputes for his businesses, and, in one case, buy a $10,000 portrait of himself.

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The Trump Foundation also attacked the attorney general's office and said it was playing "politics at its very worst".

The suit also alleges that the Trump charity raised in excess of $2.8m "in a manner created to influence the 2016 presidential election at the direction and under the control of senior leadership of the Trump presidential campaign".

The president is accused of using the charitable assets of the foundation to "pay off his legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels and other businesses, and to purchase personal items".

In the suit, Underwood noted that the president had already paid more than $330,000 in reimbursements and penalty taxes since 2016. She's seeking to ban Trump from serving as a director of a NY not-for-profit for 10 years. The board, though, had not met since 1999, and Underwood asked that the Trump children be banned from serving as director of any NY nonprofits for a year. "The acting NYAG's recent statement that battling the White House is "the most important work [she] have ever done" shows that such political attacks will continue unabated". "This is unconscionable - particularly because the foundation previously announced its intention to dissolve more than a year and a half ago".

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