President Donald Trump's charitable foundation served as a personal piggy bank for his businesses, legal bills and presidential campaign, New York's attorney general said Wednesday as she sued the charity, Trump and three of his children. Trump responded on Twitter with a string of tweets: According to the petition, Trump used the Trump Foundation's charitable assets to pay off his legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels and other businesses, and to purchase personal items. "I won't settle this case!"
The complaint alleges that the charity provided illegal support to Trump's 2016 presidential bid by using public funding to promote his campaign, and that the foundation raised more than $2.8 million to support Trump's campaign.
Underwood is also seeking restitution of the $2.8 million she says was paid to the presidential campaign and penalties.
Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump were also named in the lawsuit because they have been official board members of the Donald J. Trump Foundation for years. But those presidential powers couldn't be applied to state level prosecutions such as the one in NY.
Barbara Underwood said the foundation had engaged in "extensive unlawful political coordination" created to influence the 2016 election.
The lawsuit was filed with the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
'As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their objective or legality, ' Underwood said in a statement to The Post.
US President Donald Trump is joined by US First Lady Melania Trump (2nd R front), his daughter Ivanka Trump (2nd L front) and her husband Jared Kushner (L front) during the presidential inaugural parade on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
The purchase of the painting was an example of one of "at least five self-dealing transactions", the statement said, which violate tax regulations on non-profit charities.
The lawsuit deepens the legal woes of the president, adding to U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of his campaign, a federal investigation in NY of his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, and civil suits related to hush-money deals signed on his behalf.