President Donald Trump is facing a new round of legal trouble related to his taxes after the bombshell New York Times report documenting decades worth of suspicious dealings and possible fraud by Trump and his family.
This report comes as Trump and his children, including Donald Jr. and Ivanka, are already facing a lawsuit over their family foundation. On Thursday, the state Attorney General’s office in New York filed new documents alleging “willful and intentional conduct” violating the law. One claim of this conduct is using the foundation’s funds to benefit his Presidential campaign.
“For more than a decade, the Foundation operated in persistent violation of state and federal law governing charities,” the filings say. “The Board abdicated its fiduciary duties entirely, leaving the Foundation to operate without any oversight, and permitted Mr. Trump to use the Foundation’s assets to satisfy his and his for-profit companies’ legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels, to purchase personal items, and, in 2016 – at the direction of Mr. Trump and his presidential campaign- to promote Mr. Trump’s candidacy for political office.”
New York attorney general said that the Trump family knew what they were doing was illegal, but decided to do it anyway:
“Mr. Trump was aware of the limitations on political activity by not-for-profits: he signed documents under the penalty of perjury attesting that Foundation assets would not be used for the benefit of any Foundation officer or director or for political purposes, and he even campaigned for the repeal of one prohibition on using charitable assets to intervene in a political campaign,” the document states.
New York state department wants to dissolve the foundation because it “carried on, conducted or transacted its business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner, or by the abuse of its powers contrary to public policy of the state has become liable to be dissolved.”
Trump and his lawyers claim that he can’t be pursued legally by a state attorney general because of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The New York AG is fighting back, saying there is no precedent for such a claim.
Trump was “unable to cite a single case in which a court has dismissed a civil suit against a sitting U.S. president for unofficial acts on the ground that the court’s jurisdiction would be unconstitutional.”