For those of us who wish the worst upon Donald Trump and his crime family, some good news occurred yesterday. Due to actions of the State of New York the possibility of Trump dying penniless just became very real.
“President Trump has agreed to shut down his embattled personal charity and to give away its remaining money amid allegations that he used the foundation for his personal and political benefit, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Tuesday.”
“Underwood said that the Donald J. Trump Foundation is dissolving as her office pursues its lawsuit against the charity, Trump and his three eldest children.”
“The suit, filed in June, alleged “persistently illegal conduct” at the foundation, which Trump began in 1987. Underwood is continuing to seek more than $2.8 million in restitution.”
“As part of its agreement with the attorney general’s office, the foundation will be required to sell its remaining assets and donate the proceeds, said Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Underwood.”
What’s important to note is that New York state is ordering the Trump Foundation to sell off its remaining assets, and give the money away. It is also seeking millions in restitution from Trump and his children.
This sets a hugely significant precedent: the assets of a Trump entity are being sold due to one of his criminal scandals. This means prosecutors can in effect take Trump’s assets, even though he is still president.
As we reported back in 2017, governments are able to take away money and other assets without needing to even prove that a crime occurred:
“Law enforcement agencies use civil asset forfeiture laws to seize cash and property from individuals based on a “suspicion” that the property was involved in a crime.”
This means that either the federal or state governments can legally seize the assets of the Trump Organization. They can also seize the assets of any of his other legal entities that own valuable properties like Trump Tower.
And if you were to think that Bob Mueller wouldn’t really do this, you would be wrong. For, as we reported back in September, Paul Manafort’s plea deal with the special prosecutor included Manafort forfeiting most of his ill-gotten net worth:
“Concerning forfeiture of Manafort’s assets, reports say that as part of his guilty plea agreement the former Trump campaign chairman will forfeit four homes: three in New York and one in Virginia. He will also forfeit to the government a life insurance policy and four accounts at different financial institutions. According to New York Magazine, the total value of assets he is forfeiting is $46 million.”
The standards for asset forfeitures are not that great. The State of New York OR Mueller and other federal prosecutors OR congressional committees only have to show that Trump’s assets were obtained illegally. Once they do that, they can take away what is most precious to Donald Trump: his money and properties.
Donald Trump used the Trump Foundation as a personal piggy bank. And now government authorities have come in with a sledge hammer and smashed that piggy bank, taking Trump’s Foundation money in the process. This shows that all of Trump’s money and property are at risk of being seized and taken away from him by the government, given the extensive nature of his alleged crimes.
Our dreams of Donald Trump dying penniless have just become very real, thanks to the acting attorney general of the State of New York.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.