Patterico's Pontifications

9/20/2016

Trump Paid Private Debts with Charity Money from His Foundation

Filed under: General,Stark Choice — Patterico @ 6:20 pm

It sounds criminal, not to mention utterly dishonest and slimy:

Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.

Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.

In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the height of a flagpole.

In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.

We Americans don’t have to vote for someone who uses a supposed charity for their own personal gain. We always have the choice instead to vote for . . . oh, right. Never mind.

55 Responses to “Trump Paid Private Debts with Charity Money from His Foundation”

  1. It’s tempting to disallow comments, because I feel confident the rationalizing will turn my stomach.

    But I’ll leave them open, because a) that’s what we do here, and b) it’s fun to watch creativity at work.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  2. hasn’t fahrenholt had to eat crow twice, once on veteran donations, and another instance re grants from the foundation, I’ll wait a day or two,

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. amazon turdlord jeffy bezos’s propaganda sluts are

    well

    i think they’re biased against Mr. Trump

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. I don’t think you’ll need to disable anything.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  5. What percentage of Clinton Foundation money goes to help anyone? Seems no one draws a paycheck from the Trump foundation, Trump being nearly the only donor. The thought some of you on here would advocate for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be President of the United States is both sickening and disgusting. Seems the author of this blog has neither integrity nor ethics.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (d8338d)

  6. The CEO of Wells Fargo “accepts full responsibility”… [but not the blame] for the scam of sham accounts while the value of his own stock holdings rose $30/share delivering him, personally, $200+ million.

    Nothing to see here. Pay the fine and move along.

    It sounds criminal, not to mention utterly dishonest and slimy…

    It sounds like Reaganomics, too. With that oh-so-sweet smell of success.

    “”… a voodoo economic policy…” G.H.W. Bush, 4/10/80

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  7. as usual man of mystery, you’re wrong, officials and executives did go to jail in reagan’s time, instead of now, when they pay the danegeld and avoid accountability, likewise, reagan wasn’t daft enough to offer a credit line of 17 trillion of other people’s money, to the banksters,

    narciso (d1f714)

  8. I read a few days ago that a little over 5% of Clinton Foundation money actually goes to charity.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  9. What percentage of Clinton Foundation money goes to help anyone?

    Tu quoque is not a defense. Besides, the author posted links to Hillary’s shadiness.

    The thought some of you on here would advocate for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be President of the United States is both sickening and disgusting. Seems the author of this blog has neither integrity nor ethics.

    The author of this blog is definitely not advocating for Hillary. I think he’d be please if neither Clinton nor Trump won the election.

    Chuck Bartowski (211c17)

  10. What percentage of Clinton Foundation money goes to help anyone? Seems no one draws a paycheck from the Trump foundation, Trump being nearly the only donor. The thought some of you on here would advocate for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be President of the United States is both sickening and disgusting. Seems the author of this blog has neither integrity nor ethics.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (d8338d) — 9/20/2016 @ 6:36 pm

    If you could read, you’d know the author of this blog is NOT advocating for Hillary.

    So, Mr. Illiterate, you had better get a secretary who reads the internet accurately.

    L.N. Smithee (b84cf6)

  11. but one will, so choose your poison, bluntman and co, won’t make it there, neither will mcguffin,

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. What percentage of Clinton Foundation money goes to help anyone? Seems no one draws a paycheck from the Trump foundation, Trump being nearly the only donor. The thought some of you on here would advocate for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be President of the United States is both sickening and disgusting. Seems the author of this blog has neither integrity nor ethics.

    Says the guy who a) did not follow either of the final two links in this post, meaning the whole point of the post whizzed over his head, and b) misrepresents the facts badly by claiming Donald Trump is a major donor to his foundation (he hasn’t given them a dime in seven years, and the quote in the post says as much: “the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.”)

    Trump paid off his own debts with other people’s money. He is among the lowest of the low — joined by Hillary.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  13. The author of this blog is definitely not advocating for Hillary. I think he’d be please[d] if neither Clinton nor Trump won the election.

    Ya think?

    Patterico (bcf524)

  14. I read a few days ago that a little over 5% of Clinton Foundation money actually goes to charity.

    You could find evidence to that effect in one of the links I included in the post.

    Nobody follows links any more.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  15. I read a few days ago that a little over 5% of Clinton Foundation money actually goes to charity.

    We all want to believe the worst about the Clintons, and they usually exceed our wildest expectations in that regard, but this bit of info is not true.

    Clinton Foundation charity

    An independent charity watch group estimates the foundation gives about 89% of its revenues to charity

    Chuck Bartowski (211c17)

  16. hasn’t fahrenholt had to eat crow twice, once on veteran donations, and another instance re grants from the foundation, I’ll wait a day or two,

    I don’t remember that. Are you saying that because he embarrassed Trump into actually giving part of the money he had promised to veterans, that somehow he (not Trump) had to eat crow????? If you’re referring to something else, link please?

    Patterico (bcf524)

  17. We all want to believe the worst about the Clintons, and they usually exceed our wildest expectations in that regard, but this bit of info is not true.

    The second link in my post — one of two links nobody followed — shows that the foundation gave $9 million in direct aid out of $140 million in grants. Maybe that’s what the Colonel meant.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  18. it seems all the watchdogs, like charity navigator, like rating agencies in the last crisis, or accounting firms in the previous ones are bought off, and the broadsheets are hardly better, as almost all of them including newscorp are continuing participants in the foundation, so only publications like breitbart and even more remote outlets like world magazine are really willing to venture without fear or favor,

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. they may have, or they did, weasel words like that don’t further fahrenholt’s case,

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. I’m thinking of trying to start a group called One Term Only (or #OTO or whatever silly social media tag you need) in which disaffected and disappointed Republicans and Democrats (conservatives and liberals, if you wish) would pledge that they will work to replace the winner of the 2016 Presidential election (assuming it’s one of the Big Two) in time for the 2020 election, incumbency be dammed. Yeah, you run the (minuscule) risk that your party’s President turns out to be pretty good, but nevertheless you make the One Term Only promise.

    We would have get both sides to commit right now, while the election is still in doubt, because obviously if Hillary! wins the Democrats won’t be interested in this sort of arrangement.

    JVW (6e49ce)

  21. does that line up of ignorant, mendacious and craven, parker ignatius, milbank et al, inspire any confidence,

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/

    narciso (d1f714)

  22. democrats want no accountability, they will always find a mark among republicans, even after delay, perry, walker, gingrich, huntress, et al

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. so one of the experts, came from this firm,

    https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/toprecips.php?id=D000022306&cycle=2016

    guess who is the no 2 recipient,

    narciso (d1f714)

  24. An independent charity watch group estimates the foundation gives about 89% of its revenues to charity

    Chuck Bartowski, I think the confusion here is how Charity Watch (the group to which you refer) evaluates charities. They estimate that 89% of the money raised goes to “programs” instead of “overhead.” If I am not mistaken, the salaries, budgets, and travel expenses of the so-called experts on staff that the Clinton Global Initiative employs are considered programs, since they are issuing papers and visiting sites and (allegedly) consulting with people in need. It’s probably just coincidental too that these people are also helping formulating the Hillary Clinton position papers on various campaign issues, but let’s leave that aside. What Charity Watch counts as “overhead” is the traditional fund-raising apparatus (and the CGI doesn’t have to work too hard to raise money since they just shake down overseas interests who have business with the United States government) and various office management, which the CGI keeps relatively low.

    JVW (6e49ce)

  25. I’m just figuring an angle, because these stories don’t come out of the blue, whereas say david brock’s archipelago of self dealing outfits, will unlikely to get full scrutiny,

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. Yeah, that’s the problem for the media: whatever you want to say about What Donald Did it comes out that Hillary did it first, or worse.

    Gabriel Hanna (7e037e)

  27. “You could find evidence to that effect in one of the links I included in the post.

    Nobody follows links any more.”

    Yep, I see that now. I’ll admit that I tune out after a certain point.

    Colonel Haiku (7caebd)

  28. “Your flag pole is too tall, so we’re going to arbitrarily fine you a king ransom.
    You can afford it”

    We all should be so lucky to have Donald Trump’s problems.

    papertiger (82d7e8)

  29. 17… Yes, that’s exactly what I meant. I posted something here the other day to the effect that it was 5.XX%, or something like that that actually gets disbursed to charities.

    Colonel Haiku (7caebd)

  30. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been fined for having too big a pole.

    Sounds discriminatory.

    papertiger (82d7e8)

  31. yet charity watch and company say ‘nothing to see here, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for, didn’t peter schweitzer, notice hundred of donations to spectre were not reported, yet they still kept their status,

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. Narciso… you know the score, my good man. You know who the rats are, and you are unrelenting in trying to educate others about their existence. I salute you.

    Colonel Haiku (7caebd)

  33. Is it rationalizing to point out that $258,000 of that money went to actual charities, and that only $15,000 was spent in directly burnishing Trump’s ego? On the list of reasons not to vote Trump, this comes well down on the list.

    Farenholt seems to have trouble doing sums, btw.

    Kishnevi (d99923)

  34. they figure people will look at the headline and no further, and you can’t blame them the whole jump page syndrome,

    narciso (d1f714)

  35. Do you want to fix this problem?

    Eliminate the tax deductibility of charitable contributions. I’d do that in a heartbeat.

    It is not that I’m anti-charity. I believe one should give charitably.

    I don’t believe that should have anything to do with taxes imposed by the government.

    I see nothing in the Constitution, when it enumerates the respective powers of the federal government, and in the Bill of Rights’ proscription of other powers, which suggests that the government should get to subsidize and authorize and decide among various private “good causes.” Not the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, the ACLU, or the ASPCA.

    I am to Ted Cruz’ right on this.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  36. You know who would link arms to fight hardest against what I just proposed, though?

    Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  37. Don’t vote for the sociopathic grifter, or the other sociopathic grifter.

    Nick M. (d6362a)

  38. “Don’t vote for the sociopathic grifter, or the other sociopathic grifter.”

    It really is shocking that a legally trained prosecutor and his acolytes simply do not understand the logical fallacy of false equivalence.

    From wiki:”A common way for this fallacy to be perpetuated is one shared trait between two subjects is assumed to show equivalence, especially in order of magnitude”

    Order. Of. Magnitude.

    Clinton is at least 10 times worse than Trump.

    Fred Z (485bf0)

  39. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (d8338d) — 9/20/2016 @ 6:36 pm

    Seems no one draws a paycheck from the Trump foundation, Trump being nearly the only donor.

    I think I heard he stopped being the major donor around 2006 and contributed oractically nothing after 2008. That doesn’t tell me, of course, how much its assets grew after that point, even if it is accurate.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  40. This was probably semi-automatic, and is only subtly self-dealing.

    It seems like that Trump, whenever he could, contributed to other charities using money from his charity (whose money couldn’t be used for any other purpose)

    He also gave a contribution to a PAC that was for Pam Bondi for Attorney General of Florida, but that seems to have happened because it had a similar name to an IRS recognized charity. When that was caught, he had to pay some kind of withdrawal fine – I didn’t know you could take back money you gave to a charity you controlled if you paid a 10% penalty, and maybe this can’t be done as a first resort. Maybe he also had to restore the $2,500 to his charity.

    In this case, once Trump had decided to give a donation to a specific charity for veterans, when his people set out to carry it out, it was made from his charity.

    The only problem is, that it was a committment made in order to settle a lawsuit brought by the town of Palm Beach for unpaid fines related to the height of a flagpole.

    Now Trump did not concede that the ordinance applied or whatever, and in fact that’s why the money wasn’t given to the town of Palm Beach. It also was for somewhat less than the claimed fines. ($100,000 rather than $120,000)

    The law may be kind of vague here. Trump’s lawyers could say the committment to donate the money was not legally binding, but just a gesture of goodwill, so therefore it was not a debt of the business and was an entirely voluntary contribution. They may say that there was no legal connection between the contribution and the waived fines, and if there is, then what should have happened was that the city of Palm Beach should have re-opened the case and said he didn’t fulfill his committment because the contribution was made from the wrong entity and he should still pay the fines.

    The IRS may view this as self-dealing because, if in fact the fines were owed – a matter never resolved – it was owed by the business and it got transferred to the charity.

    It certainly helped the reputation of his businesses), but then so does practically any publicized charitable contribution he might give. So can his foundation give to any charity?? When does self-dealing exactly kick in? That may be a hard point to determine. There’s no bright line.

    This is not really exactly the thing to get him on.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  41. Yep, I see that now. I’ll admit that I tune out after a certain point.

    No problem. It’s just that the post (subtly) makes as essentially an anti-Hillary point as it makes an anti-Trump point — and so to have people flood in here and say OH YEAH WHAT ABOUT HILLARY’S CHARITY?? proves that the point was lost on all those people.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  42. This is not really exactly the thing to get him on.

    Regardless of whether you could erect a wall of text (we’re gonna build a wall!) to mount some weak legal justification for this, the fact remains that Trump’s personal obligations were discharged by payments from a charity using other people’s money, making him (yet again) a giant scumbag.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  43. And I’d bet a lot of money that he proposed “charitable” contributions rather than direct payments in these disputes, expressly so he could misdirect OPM (other people’s money) to his own use. Fuck Donald Trump.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  44. you can count the number of non-corrupt failmerican non-profits by seeing how many skittles fit in a average goldfishe’s mouth

    if you wanna be scientific about it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  45. plus punctuations and et cetera

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  46. It’s too bad I can’t vote against them both.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  47. As a resident of the People’s Republic of California(controlled by The Socialist Unity Party) my
    vote in the presidential election has no impact. I will vote for Trump just to irritate the
    Clinton worshipers.

    Bar Sinister (f5ce19)

  48. political grifters, thinking they have an easy mark, use lawfare to dip into Donald Trump’s wallet.

    Being Trump, he negotiates a deal where the politicians/crooks are allowed to “force” him into contributing to the local VFW, something Trump would likely have done anyway.

    papertiger (82d7e8)

  49. “Don’t vote for the sociopathic grifter, or the other sociopathic grifter.”

    Natonal Review had a article entitled:

    “Vote for the Crook, it’s important. No, the other crook.”

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  50. Patterico (bcf524) — 9/21/2016 @ 6:40 am

    the fact remains that Trump’s personal obligations were discharged by payments from a charity using other people’s money, making him (yet again) a giant scumbag.

    The Palm Beach settlement was in 2007, but he still added some moneyto his charrity in 2008.

    That wasn’t the only case of Donald Trump settling a lawsuit against a golf course with a charfitable contribution that was made by his charitable foundation. (The Washington Post probaby only examined lawsuits against a limited number of Trump entities)

    The second one happened in 2012.

    In 2010, there was a charity touranament at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York. Trump had promised that of anyone got a Hole-in-one he would win a $1 million.

    As it is, Martin Greenberg, the CEO of Sterling Commodities Corp. got a hole in one on the 13th hole, and was personally congratulated by former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, whose charity was also sponsoring the tournament.

    However, the insurance company – Trump had taken the precaution of taking out insurance against this – refused to pay.

    The insurance company said the markers were not set at the right yardage, and that the tee had to be at least 150 yeards away from the hole.

    Greenberg sued the golf club, Alonzo’s charity, and the insurance company.

    Greenberg settled the lawsuit with Trump’s club with a $158,000 contribution to go to Greenberg’s favorite charity. In 2012 that money was contributed by Trump’s charity.

    I don’t know what the rules are for using a charity to benefit the contributor. They may be very tough, but also impossible to enforce, or vague.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  51. Trump also used his charity to buy two portraits of himself.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  52. 43. Patterico (bcf524) — 9/21/2016 @ 6:41 am

    And I’d bet a lot of money that he proposed “charitable” contributions rather than direct payments in these disputes,
    Well, of course. As for why it was accepted.

    1) It was money they might not otherwise get, not for a long time. Fr the city of Paslm Beach it awass not thhat great a reduction and for Martin Greenberg, he still had a lawsuit going against two other entitites.

    2a) For the city of Palm Beach it was a way of appropriating money that bypassed normal procedures.

    2b) For Martin Greenberg, well, maybe he could fulfill a pledge that way.

    expressly so he could misdirect OPM (other people’s money) to his own use.

    Or money that was already lost to him for personal or business purposes.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  53. As a blue collar shlub, non profits in general seem like a game rich folk with law firms on retainer play with government lawyers employed to milk rich people of their money. They probably take up several hundred thousands of pages of tax law legalize, and employ legions of lawyers, public and private. The whole mess should be swept away with a flat tax, but won’t be because of said legions of lawyers making a living off of said hundreds of thousands of pages of tax code.

    In short, I DON’T CARE. One of these candidates believes the safety, prosperity, and the very existence of the USA requires controlled borders, and the other believes in no borders and that we are all citizens of the world, the nation be damned.

    Yes, neither is without sin, still, one will be president. Working for neither to be elected is like a child wishing for a unicorn.

    LBascom (c230be)

  54. “And I’d bet a lot of money that he proposed “charitable” contributions rather than direct payments in these disputes, expressly so he could misdirect OPM (other people’s money) to his own use. Fuck Donald Trump.”

    As I understand it, Donald Trump selfishly redirected charitable contributions from his charity to another charity, which is totally something that other charities would never, ever, ever do, especially not as a standard operating procedure. Charities themselves are the most open and least corrupt institutions in the country, completely above reproach, and totally not a standard employment scheme for rich men’s wives.

    Dystopia Max (76803a)

  55. Being Trump, he negotiates a deal where the politicians/crooks are allowed to “force” him into contributing to the local VFW, something Trump would likely have done anyway.

    Lie and lie

    Patterico (bcf524)


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