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President Agrees to Shut Down Trump Foundation, Accuses New York AG of 'Politicizing' the Matter

12-18-2018

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump's charitable foundation has agreed to dissolve itself amid an ongoing lawsuit over its finances.

As part of the agreement announced Tuesday, the president's family charity will distribute its remaining assets to other nonprofit organizations under a judge's supervision.

The lawsuit, brought against the Trump Foundation in June by the attorney general's office in New York, will continue to seek millions of dollars in restitution even as the president's personal charity agrees to shut down.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement that the Trump Foundation, founded some 30 years ago, was involved in "a shocking pattern of illegality… including lawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more."

Underwood, who said the foundation functioned "as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests," is seeking $2.8 million in restitution.

The attorney general is also suing to stop the president or any of his three eldest children, who ran the organization, from serving on the boards of other charities in the state.

The foundation came under intense scrutiny during the 2016 presidential campaign when the New York attorney general took up an investigation into the entity that June. The lawsuit alleges that investigation "revealed that the foundation was little more than a checkbook" for the president and his family.

Underwood also alleges "multiple violations of state and federal law" and says that Trump "used charitable assets to pay off the legal obligations of entities he controlled, to promote Trump hotels, to purchase personal items, and to support his presidential election campaign."

However, Alan Futerfas, an attorney for the Trump Foundation, shot back at Underwood, calling her characterization of the agreement misleading and a "further attempt to politicize this matter."

 "The foundation has been seeking to dissolve and distribute its remaining assets to worthwhile charitable causes since Donald J. Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election," Futerfas said.

"Unfortunately, the NYAG sought to prevent dissolution for almost two years, thereby depriving those most in need of" the foundation's funds, he charged.

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