President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday he intends to dissolve his charitable foundation to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest, though the New York attorney general’s office says it can’t legally be shuttered until a related investigation has concluded.
“The Foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups,” Trump said in a statement.
“However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways.”
The Donald J. Trump Foundation was highly scrutinized over the course of Trump’s campaign. Media investigations found that Trump had provided no donations to his own foundation since 2008, and suggested he used the foundation’s money to settle legal disputes involving his for-profit businesses.
The foundation is currently under investigation by the New York State attorney general’s office after a Washington Post report said it fundraised in the state when it wasn’t registered to do so. On Saturday, the attorney general’s office confirmed to Business Insider that the investigation is ongoing.
The foundation also said in its 2015 tax filings that it violated a ban on self-dealing by transferring income or assets to a “disqualified person.”
The move from Trump comes as he and his family have faced intense scrutiny over how they will avoid conflicts of interest after he becomes president next month. Earlier this week, Trump’s son, Eric, suspended his own charitable foundation over concerns about possible conflicts of interest.
The decision to shutter the foundation comes amid intense criticisms of Trump’s potential conflicts of interest involving his various business operations. Trump has previously said he’ll hand over control of his businesses to his children, despite widespread calls for him to instead place his holdings in a blind trust.
Trump said he would announce his plans to leave his businesses on Dec. 15, but later postponed the date to January.