Judge orders Trump to pay $2M for charity foundation misuse

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani

A New York state court has ordered President Trump to personally pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit over the misuse of funds from the now-defunct Trump Foundation to further his political ambitions, the New York Attorney General's Office announced Thursday.

Judge Saliann Scarpulla said Trump breached his fiduciary duty to the Trump Foundation by allowing his campaign staff to plan a fundraiser for veterans' charities in the run-up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses.

The judge also signed off on agreements reached last month between Trump's lawyers and the NY attorney general's office to close the Trump Foundation and distribute about $1.7 million in remaining funds to other nonprofits.

Foundation lawyers have previously said the lawsuit is politically motivated.

The case is tied to a televised fundraiser for veterans held by Trump in Iowa when he was running for president in January 2016.

Trump's fine and the charity's funds will be split evenly among eight organizations, including City Meals-on-Wheels, the United Negro College Fund and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Trump's foundation had the subject of a June 2018 lawsuit by the NY attorney general at the time, Barbara Underwood, against Trump and his adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka. But according to court documents, the Trump Foundation improperly used $2.82 million it received from that fundraiser.

The settlement comes in the wake of an agreement by the foundation in December to dissolve under judicial supervision.

The final outstanding issue, according to the judgement, was the amount that Trump would pay in damages over the Iowa fundraiser.

The White House did not immediately comment on the judgement.

The payment is the final resolution in a case brought by the NY attorney general's office after the Trump Foundation held a televised fundraiser for veterans during the 2016 campaign.

"Mr. Trump repeatedly used Foundation money for his own personal, business, and political interests, including the unlawful coordination with his 2016 presidential campaign", said Attorney General Letitia Jamesin a statement. They include distribution of the remainder of the foundation's assets to charities approved by James' office, training for the president's children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., and 19 paragraphs of Trump's admissions of illegal activity.

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