New York Sues Trump Foundation for ‘Persistent Illegality’

The New York State attorney general’s office submitted a court filing on Thursday making clear that it is continuing to sue the Trump Foundation for “persistent illegality.”

In June the attorney general’s office had originally filed suit with allegations that the foundation — run by Donald Trump and his children — had violated numerous New York state laws. The lawsuit claimed that the Trump Foundation had broken New York’s charities laws to illegally provide funding for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

New York AG: Trump Foundation engaged in “persistent illegality”

The new filing came just days after a New York Times bombshell report that documented decades worth of tax fraud and shady business deals by the Trump family.

Attorneys for Trump have sought to dismiss the lawsuit, but the attorney general’s office made clear in the Thursday filing that this would not happen.

“Donald J. Trump used his control over the Donald J. Trump Foundation for his benefit to advance his personal, business, and political interests in violation of federal and state law governing charities,” the said.

The attorney general’s lawsuit asks the court to dissolve the foundation and prohibit Donald Trump and his children from serving on the boards of other charities in the state of New York.

The court filing further said:

“For more than a decade, the Foundation operated in persistent violation of state and federal law governing charities. The Board abdicated its fiduciary duties entirely, leaving the Foundation to operate without any oversight, and permitted Mr. Trump to use the Foundation’s assets to satisfy his and his for-profit companies’ legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels, to purchase personal items, and, in 2016 – at the direction of Mr. Trump and his presidential campaign- to promote Mr. Trump’s candidacy for political office.”

The court filing claimed that the Trumps knew that their actions were illegal, but did them anyway, saying:

“Mr. Trump was aware of the limitations on political activity by not-for-profits: he signed documents under the penalty of perjury attesting that Foundation assets would not be used for the benefit of any Foundation officer or director or for political purposes, and he even campaigned for the repeal of one prohibition on using charitable assets to intervene in a political campaign.”

The lawsuit also makes clear that the state of New York is asking to dissolve the Trump Foundation because it “carried on, conducted or transacted its business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner, or by the abuse of its powers contrary to public policy of the state has become liable to be dissolved.”

As this lawsuit moves forward in the courts, the subject of whether a sitting president can be brought into a trial while in office will be settled sooner rather than later.