New York’s Attorney General Has Opened an Inquiry Into Donald Trump’s Charity

The state’s top lawyer is looking into the inner workings of the candidate’s vanity foundation.

Evan Vucci/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has opened an inquiry into Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s charity following questions over whether the foundation has complied with state law. 

The scrutiny comes in light of recent investigations by the Washington Post and Associated Press that shed light into the inner workings of the Donald J. Trump Foundation. The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Trump, who founded the charity in 1987 and has claimed to have donated millions from his own pocket, had not contributed to his foundation since 2008. Instead, the Post found, Trump’s foundation received millions of dollars from donors, which it doled out under its own name.

In 2009, Trump reportedly spent $20,000 meant for charitable purposes on a six-foot-tall painting of himself. In 2013, the Trump Foundation gave $25,000 to a political group associated with Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi. That gift, which was illegal, resulted in a $2,500 penalty payment to the Internal Revenue Service. House Democrats have called for a federal criminal investigation into the transaction.

Schneiderman told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday that his office was looking into Trump’s charity out of concern it had “engaged in some impropriety” in its operations. “We’ve inquired into it, and we’ve had correspondence with them,” he said. “I didn’t make a big deal out of it or hold a press conference. We have been looking into the Trump Foundation to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York.”

Schneiderman is also challenging Trump in a lawsuit alleging that Trump University, the mogul’s defunct real-estate seminar, engaged in “persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct.”

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate