Trump and his adult children agree to dissolve the Trump Foundation charity amid a lawsuit alleging ‘persistently illegal conduct’

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REUTERS/Andy Clark

  • President Donald Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. have agreed to dissolve the Trump Foundation, their charitable organization.
  • A lawsuit from the New York Attorney General’s Office has accused the Trump family of using the foundation to illegally coordinate with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and engage in self-dealing transactions.
  • The suit – which the incoming New York attorney general, Letitia James, will continue to pursue – is also seeking $2.8 million in damages and a temporary ban on Trump family members serving on the boards of charitable organizations.

President Donald Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. have agreed to dissolve their charitable organization, the Trump Foundation, amid a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General’s Office alleging “persistently illegal conduct” over a decade.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said Tuesday that the suit, filed in June, “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.”

The suit alleges that Trump and his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski coordinated to use the foundation to host charitable events and donate money in order to influence the 2016 election by boosting Trump’s image as a philanthropist.

The lawsuit also accuses the foundation of unlawfully entering into self-dealing transactions with the Trump Organization, the real-estate company where Donald Jr. and Eric are executives, on at least five occasions, including the use of the foundation’s money in 2014 to purchase a portrait of Trump that hung at his Miami golf course.

Underwood’s lawsuit – which the incoming attorney general, Letitia James, will continue to pursue – is also seeking $2.8 million in damages and a 10-year ban on Trump and a one-year ban on his three adult children from serving on the boards of New York charitable organizations.

A New York Supreme Court judge in November allowed the suit to proceed, rejecting Trump’s argument that he could not be civilly sued as a sitting president.

Read more: New York state could soon launch wide-ranging investigations of Trump’s finances and business deals, which experts say verges into legally uncharted territory

The terms of the dissolution stipulate that Trump and his children will dissolve the foundation “under judicial supervision” and donate its assets to several court-approved charities.

The New York Attorney General’s Office is also collaborating with the Department of Taxation and Finance to investigate whether there is enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the foundation. They subpoenaed Michael Cohen, the former Trump Organization counsel and lawyer for Trump, in August.

A representative for the Department of Taxation and Finance declined to comment.