Trump Foundation Dissolved Like It Was Dipped In Hot Tub Of Acid
Not so long ago, back in June, we reported that the state of New York was suing the president's ... well, it's too charitable to call it a "charity," so we'll go with "crooked-ass scam," the Donald J. Trump Foundation. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood came out swinging and declared that the foundation was "little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose of legality." Trump insisted he'd never settle this case, and now six months later, Underwood has announced, with her tail between her legs, that the grifter in chief has agreed to dissolve the Trump Foundation and give away its remaining funds. Aren't you tired of winning yet, Donald?
No one should expect Powerball-level payouts, though. At its peak, Trump's Music Man act never had more than $3.2 million in the bank. Aquaman will swim past that in its first couple hours of domestic release. Trump's a fake billionaire, but we know he has access to real billionaires. He's given them Cabinet positions. Even they aren't taking spare cash from their yacht funds and trusting it to the Trump white-collar crime family.
Trump himself never gave any of his own money to the foundation since 2008. I don't entirely blame him. I wouldn't give one Yugoslavian pfennig to any organization, charitable or otherwise, with Trump's three oldest and dumbest kids on the board of directors. In fairness, though, Trump has claimed that his name alone is worth $3.3 billion. That's quite the donation right there. The John Smith Foundation would only be worth a significantly less imaginary figure.
The best LOL moment from the attorney general's investigation is the discovery that Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — all listed as officers of the charity — had never held a board meeting. The board hadn't met since 1999. I'm not a five-dollar feminist, but I've served on a few theatre boards and even I know you have to, you know, meet and stuff. That's kind of the point. Is there nothing legal about this "foundation"? Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg was reportedly unaware he was even on the board despite being the charity's "official treasurer." Couldn't Ivanka be bothered to send him an email at some point saying, "BTW: In case anyone asks, you're the treasurer of our fake board." You don't want the attorney general catching folks off guard with this.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump sent a lot of time attacking an actual legitimate charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation. Totally coincidentally, after winning the election, Trump suddenly tired of his own "charity" and tried to shut it down, but the attorney general's office blocked that obvious attempt to "bust the joint out" during its investigation of his advanced crookery. Underwood still seeks more than $2.8 million in restitution and has asked a judge to ban the four Trumps temporarily from coming within a country mile of the boards of other New York nonprofits.
Underwood released a statement today detailing the various and assorted ways the Trumps suck and can't be trusted to not take candy from a sleeping baby.
"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. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests.
"Today's stipulation accomplishes a key piece of the relief sought in our lawsuit earlier this year. Under the terms, the Trump Foundation can only dissolve under judicial supervision – and it can only distribute its remaining charitable assets to reputable organizations approved by my office.
"This is an important victory for the rule of law, making clear that there is one set of rules for everyone. We'll continue to move our suit forward to ensure that the Trump Foundation and its directors are held to account for their clear and repeated violations of state and federal law."
Look, we're the first to admit we'll miss the Trump Foundation a little. We've had fun reporting on its repulsive actions under the guise of philanthropy. Remember how DTF used funds to buy awful portraits of Trump's stupid face? Or when Trump used foundation funds to make a campaign contribution to Pam Bondi, the Florida attorney general he needed to buy off? Or when he used the foundation (allegedly) as a tax dodge? And who can forget Trump swiping more than $250,000 from the foundation to settle the many lawsuits that can crop up when you're a total shyster. Just in case you're thinking of setting up your own scam "charity" for fun and profit, pretty much all of this is illegal.
Underwood stresses that despite the dissolution of the Trump Foundation, the state's lawsuit is "ongoing." Incoming attorney general Letitia James had already promised to bring the ruckus to the Trumps. I get the feeling they're going to wish they'd never gotten into the fake charity business.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.