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After 21-month investigation: New York AG sues Trump and his charity over self-dealing

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Barbara Underwood
Empire State   Mr. Trump ran the Foundation according to his whim, says Underwood

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood sued President Donald Trump, three of his children and his foundation, saying he illegally used the nonprofit as a personal checkbook for his own benefit, including his 2016 presidential campaign.

Underwood asked a state judge to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation and to ban Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and his daughter Ivanka from holding leadership roles in New York charities.

The three children joined the foundation’s board in 2006, although Ivanka stepped down to work at the White House in 2017.

Underwood said her office’s 21-month investigation, begun under her predecessor Eric Schneiderman, uncovered “extensive unlawful political coordination” by the foundation with Trump’s campaign, as well as “repeated and willful self-dealing” to benefit Trump’s personal, business and political interests.

Among the transactions the lawsuit cited as illegal was a $10,000 payment to the Unicorn Children’s Foundation for a portrait of Trump purchased at a fundraising auction in 2014. The portrait would end up decorating a wall at Trump’s Doral golf resort near Miami, the Washington Post reported.

Another $100,000 went to another charity in 2007 to settle a legal dispute over a flagpole erected in violation of local ordinances at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club and sometime residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

"Mr. Trump ran the Foundation according to his whim, rather than the law," the lawsuit said.

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