Trump Foundation to dissolve under court agreement

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(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Amid legal turmoil, President Donald Trump has agreed to shut down the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the New York Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday.

The foundation is the subject on an ongoing lawsuit from New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood that alleges Trump used his namesake nonprofit organization to advance his own political and personal interests.

Trump and Underwood agreed to a stipulation Tuesday that will dissolve the foundation under judicial supervision. Trump attempted to dissolve the foundation in 2016 to avoid conflicts of interest but was blocked by the attorney general’s office as the charity was already under investigation for allegedly being used to settle lawsuits and make personal purchases.

“Our petition 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,” Underwood said in a statement. “This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.”

The foundation gave out $3.1 million in grants in 2016, some of which came under scrutiny by New York investigators who alleged Trump used the charitable funds primarily to benefit himself and his presidential campaign.

With an investigation into the charity already underway and Trump elected President, the Trump Foundation did not give out any grants in 2017. Despite daughter Ivanka Trump officially resigning from her position as a director with the foundation before assuming a position as an unpaid advisor to her father’s White House, Trump remained president of the foundation during his entire first year in office. During Trump’s first year in the Oval Office, his namesake foundation was entirely funded by a half-million dollar donation from Trump’s business along with a six-figure “reimbursement” from one of his golf clubs.

The Trump Foundation is to submit a list of nonprofits which will receive its remaining $1.75 million in assets within 30 days, which will receive the funds under the supervision and approval Attorney General. A press release from the Attorney General’s office assured that the funds would be distributed to “reputable organizations approved by my office.”

The stipulation was signed by the New York Attorney General’s office and the Trump Foundation’s lawyer and is awaiting the signature of the state judge overseeing the lawsuit.

The New York Attorney General’s lawsuit itself is still ongoing. Underwood is still seeking more than $2.8 million in restitution and aims to ban Trump and his family from operating charities in New York for 10 years.

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