NY Attorney General Sues The Trump Family For Being A Criminal Organization

The lawsuit accuses the Trump Foundation which is Donald, Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka Trump of using their charity to engage in a pattern of persistent illegal conduct, including illegally assisting Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The New York Attorney General’s Office said in a statement:
Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, and its directors, Donald J. Trump (“Mr. Trump”), Donald J. Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump. The petition filed today alleges a pattern of persistent illegal conduct, occurring over more than a decade, that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump’s personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations. The Attorney General initiated a special proceeding to dissolve the Trump Foundation under court supervision and obtain restitution of $2.8 million and additional penalties. The AG’s lawsuit also seeks a ban from future service as a director of a New York not-for-profit of 10 years for Mr. Trump and one year for each of the Foundation’s other board members, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump. The Attorney General also sent referral letters today to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission, identifying possible violations of federal law for further investigation and legal action by those federal agencies.

As alleged in the petition, Mr. Trump used the Trump Foundation’s charitable assets to pay off his legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels and other businesses, and to purchase personal items. In addition, at Mr. Trump’s behest, the Trump Foundation illegally provided extensive support to his 2016 presidential campaign by using the Trump Foundation’s name and funds it raised from the public to promote his campaign for presidency, including in the days before the Iowa nominating caucuses.

The lawsuit would probably be shrugged off by the Trumps if not for the mention of the IRS.

The New York AG is basically calling the Trumps a crime family

The lawsuit makes it clear. The Trumps are a crime family. They engage in persistent and chronic illegal behavior. Lawbreaking is how they do business. The lawsuit is devastating because it has gotten the IRS involved, and IRS involvement means real criminal charges. The lawsuit also appears to be the first step in a much bigger investigation of Trump and his organization. The immediate political problem is that Trump was just called a criminal by the state of New York.

The longer-term problem is that the New York might be building a criminal case against the President Of The United States and his family, and Trump can’t pardon his way out of state charges.

Attorney General Underwood spelled it out in black and white. The Trumps are a crime family.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.