trump foundation

Trump Pays $2 Million Fine for Abusing His Own Charity

U.S. President Donald Trump. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Donald Trump has made a court-ordered $2 million payment to eight different charities, bringing an end to a lawsuit against him for using his own foundation for personal gain.

A judge ordered the payment last month after Trump admitted to abusing the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which he used over the years to buy a portrait of himself and a Broncos helmet autographed by Tim Tebow, among other noncharitable items.

The foundation, which has been shut down, also distributed the $1.8 million left in its coffers to the eight charities, giving them each a total of $476,140.41. The charities are Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals on Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, the United Negro College Fund, United Way of the National Capital Area, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“Funds have finally gone where they deserve — to eight credible charities,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Tuesday. “My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the president of the United States.”

The case against the Trump Foundation began under former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, and relied heavily on reporting on the charity from the Washington Post. In late 2018, Schneiderman’s successor, Barbara Underwood, said she had found “a shocking pattern of illegality” related to the foundation.

Trump declared last year that he would not settle the case, but he did. Among Trump’s transgressions, which he admitted to in the settlement, were having his campaign, and not the foundation, run a 2016 charity event that was meant to benefit veterans. He also used the foundation to pay settlements for lawsuits brought against his private companies.

Along with the payment, the terms of Trump’s settlement require him to be under special supervision if he ever wishes to engage in charity work in New York again. His three oldest children, who were all officials with the foundation, have also undergone “compulsory training to ensure this type of illegal activity never takes place again,” according to the attorney general’s office.

Trump Pays $2 Million Fine for Abusing His Own Charity