WASHINGTON — The Trump Foundation will dissolve amid a lawsuit brought by the New York attorney general over the nature of its spending and contributions.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said the foundation had signed a stipulation agreeing to disband under judicial supervision. She said she will review how remaining assets will be given to charity.
“Our petition detailed a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation — including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more,” Underwood said in a statement. “This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.”
The foundation’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, said that Underwood’s statement was “misleading,’ and that the foundation has been seeking to “dissolve and distribute” its remaining assets to charity since Donald Trump’s election.
Her lawsuit remains ongoing. It seeks millions in restitution, and a prohibition on Trump and his children from serving on the boards of other charities.
The stipulation was signed by Yael Fuchs, co-chief of the enforcement section of the attorney’s general’s office, and Futerfas.
In a statement, Futerfas said that the New York Attorney General had been trying to further “politicize this matter.”
“Unfortunately, the [New York Attorney General] sought to prevent dissolution for almost two years, thereby depriving those most in need of nearly $1.7 million,” he said. “Over the past decade, the Foundation is proud to have distributed approximately $19 million, including $8.25 million of the President’s personal money, to over 700 different charitable organizations with virtually zero expenses.”
Last month, a New York judge ruled that the lawsuit could proceed.
Underwood filed the case in June, claiming that the foundation was “little more than an empty shell that functions with no oversight by its board of directors.” It claimed that the board, which includes Trump’s children, had not met since 1999 and “does not oversee the activities of the Foundation in any way.” It alleged a “pattern of persistent illegal conduct.”
Specifically cited was a fundraiser that Trump held for veterans on Jan. 28, 2016. Corey Lewandowski, then Trump’s campaign manager, dictated the timing, amounts and recipients of grants from the event, according to the lawsuit, and other campaign officials were involved in the preparations. Trump presented enlarged copies of checks to veterans groups at campaign events leading up to the Iowa caucuses. Also cited was a $10,000 payment that was made with foundation funds to buy a painting of Trump. It was eventually displayed at Trump’s golf club in Doral, Fla.