Politics

Dem New York AG Sends Cease And Desist Letter To Trump Foundation

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent

The office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a cease and desist order to the Trump Foundation Monday.

The letter orders that the Foundation must cease soliciting contributions and engaging in fundraising activities in New York for violations of state regulations governing the operation of charities.

“Please take notice that the Donald J. Trump Foundation is in violation of section 172 of Article 7-A New York’s Executive Law, which requires charitable organizations that solicit contributions in New York State to register with the Charities Bureau and to provide annual financial reports and annual audited financial statements,” the letter reads.

The Washington Post’s David Farenthold reported Sunday night that the Foundation, which began subsisting entirely on donations from others in 2008, failed to register with New York State under article 7A. Registration is required for any charity soliciting more than $25,000 from the general public.

Though Schneiderman’s office has adopted an aggressive posture as regards the Trump Foundation, it has been far more accommodating of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which is based in New York City, and faces its own ethics problems. The Clinton Foundation, despite state rules to the contrary, has disclosed little regarding its foreign donors.

Schneiderman has the power to compel the disclosure of names of foreign governments who have given to the Foundation — he has not yet done so.

“He’s not doing his job in that case,” attorney David Nelson told Scripps News, which published a detailed review of the Foundation’s disclosure practices. “The Clinton Foundation cannot say they are in compliance with New York regulations.” (RELATED: Clinton Foundation Skirting State Law, Dem AG Says No Problem)

A Scripps News investigation found a Clinton Foundation spinoff, Clinton Health Access Initiative, did not disclose $225 million in foreign government grants to New York regulators. The Foundation proper disclosed only lump sum totals to the state, and stopped disclosing foreign contributions altogether in 2010.

“Every instance where there was an opportunity to be more transparent or less they chose to be less transparent,” Nelson said.

Schneiderman himself is a Democrat who has endorsed Clinton. He sits on the Clinton campaign’s New York state leadership council.

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