New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is suing President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump over misuse of funds in the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
Trump used his nonprofit foundation in order to “pay off his legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels and other businesses, and to purchase personal items,” Underwood, a Democrat, alleged in a Thursday press release.
The press release also includes an email from former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski directing the foundation to make grants to nonprofits in coordination with campaign activities. The foundation allegedly made “at least five $100,000 grants to groups in Iowa in the days immediately before” the Iowa presidential caucuses in 2016.
The AG sent letters on Thursday to the Federal Election Commission and the IRS asking for “additional investigation and potential further legal action” into the matter. (RELATED: Sessions Says More Firings Possible Following DOJ Report)
If ruled against, the foundation could be disbanded and Trump could have to pay up to $2.8 million in penalties, according to the press release.
“This is politics at its very worst,” a Trump Foundation spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday. “The Foundation has donated over $19 million to worthy charitable causes – more than it even received … The Foundation currently has $1.7 million remaining which the NYAG has been holding hostage for political gain.”
The foundation asserted that the lawsuit was intentionally filed as a political stunt on the day of an inspector general report on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email investigation, according to a press guide obtained by TheDCNF. The New York AG office has a history of bias against the Trump administration, the press guide also said, citing former New York AG Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, saying that he “will never stop fighting to protect New Yorkers from the Trump administration’s attacks.”
The press statement did not include any comment on the Lewandowski email included in the AG’s press release or the allegation that the foundation paid Trump’s legal fees for his business.
This isn’t the first time Trump has gotten in trouble with the New York AG. His foundation was fined for making an illegal political contribution to a group supporting a Florida AG candidate in 2016.
This post has been updated to include comment from the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
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