Patterico's Pontifications

12/10/2019

Trump Pays $2 Million In Damages For Misusing His Charity

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:22 pm



[guest post by Dana]

In other Trump news today, the president has paid $2 million in a court-ordered settlement for using funds from the Trump Foundation charity for his own personal gain and to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign:

The payment was ordered last month by a New York state judge in an extraordinary rebuke to a sitting president. Trump had been sued in 2018 by the New York attorney general, who alleged that the president had illegally used funds from the Donald J. Trump Foundation to buy portraits of himself, pay off his businesses’ legal obligations and help his 2016 campaign.

[…]

In addition, Trump agreed to distribute the remaining $1.8 million left in the Donald J. Trump Foundation to the same eight charities. In all, each charity received $476,140.41.

“Charities are not a means to an end, which is why these damages speak to the president’s abuse of power and represent a victory for not-for-profits that follow the law,” James, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Funds have finally gone where they deserve — to eight credible charities.”

Moreover, if the president wants to create another New York state charity, it will face certain restrictions and supervision.

Reports also say that, along with using the charity’s money for his presidential campaign and Pam Bondi’s Florida attorney general campaign, Trump paid $258,000 in legal settlements for his (for-profit) clubs, purchased sports memorabilia, champagne for a charity gala, and arranged for the charity to pay $10,000 for a 6-foot portrait of himself. Yep, that sounds about right.

Back when the lawsuit was filed in 2018, Trump was determined to not settle the case:

The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!

Still to be ruled on is whether Trump can write off the fine payment as a “charitable donation” on his taxes.

The President of the United States got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and as a result there is no longer a charity to use as his own personal piggy-bank. Good!

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

42 Responses to “Trump Pays $2 Million In Damages For Misusing His Charity”

  1. A self-proclaimed billionaire misuses his own charity to fund his own political and personal ambitions?? Disgusting.

    Dana (643cd6)

  2. In another world, with another president this would be a Big Deal. But as it stands, it’s just standard operating procedure. How sad is that…

    Dana (643cd6)

  3. How much prison time are the Varsity Blues parents potentially facing for improper charitable tax deductions?

    nk (dbc370)

  4. One of Nixon’s articles of impeachment was for tax fraud.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. He’s such a sad, small man. Amazing that some people look up to them. They must be really desperate to feel good about themselves.

    Time123 (d54166)

  6. $2 million? Peanuts.

    What about $1 trillion?! See the lying and scamming of America by civilian and military officials for 18 years over the Afghan War, just like Vietnam, for details.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  7. Just so we’re clear, the Trump Foundation was dissolved by court order a year ago and had to “give away all its remaining assets under court supervision as part of an ongoing investigation and lawsuit by the New York attorney general.” Today’s news is about paying out Foundation assets to deserving charities, the kind of charities Trump didn’t give to.
    This is similar to how Trump University ended. I think I detect a pattern.
    Anyways, it just goes to show that anything Trump says should be presumed false until proven true, for the sake of all the folks who’ve been financially duped by the guy. And now that he’s president, millions who have been politically duped. Why can’t Americans see this.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  8. can’t wait for the investigation into the Clinton Foundation and what has happened to those funds since 2016. what charities have been supported. how much are Bill, Hill and Chel getting paid

    PeterTx52 (48ae02)

  9. can’t wait for the investigation into the Clinton Foundation and what has happened to those funds since 2016. what charities have been supported. how much are Bill, Hill and Chel getting paid

    PeterTx52 (48ae02) — 12/10/2019 @ 7:46 pm

    Foundation’s donation has dropped bigly since 2016:
    https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/11/clinton-foundation-cash-flow-drop/

    Anyone want to venture a guess as to why?

    whembly (c30c83)

  10. OT: Sorry for different topic, but my irony meter ‘sploded on this narrative busting story:
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/dec/10/patrick-bumatay-openly-gay-trump-nominee-confirmed/
    From instapundit:

    WORST. HOMOPHOBIC. PRESIDENT. EVER. Senate confirms openly gay Trump nominee to 9th Circuit. “The Senate confirmed President Trump’s ninth judicial nominee to the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, elevating Patrick Bumatay, an openly gay Filipino man, to the federal bench over objections from his liberal home-state senators.”

    So do Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris hate gays, or Filipinos?

    UPDATE: From the comments:

    “53-40 party-line vote”

    40 Democrats voted against a gay person of color.

    Thank God we have Trump to roll over such bigotry in the name of diversity.

    But I thought VP Pence would be throwing gays in camps handing out electric shock therapies???

    whembly (c30c83)

  11. OT: Sorry for different topic, but my irony meter ‘sploded on this narrative busting story:
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/dec/10/patrick-bumatay-openly-gay-trump-nominee-confirmed/
    From instapundit:

    WORST. HOMOPHOBIC. PRESIDENT. EVER. Senate confirms openly gay Trump nominee to 9th Circuit. “The Senate confirmed President Trump’s ninth judicial nominee to the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, elevating Patrick Bumatay, an openly gay Filipino man, to the federal bench over objections from his liberal home-state senators.”

    So do Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris hate gays, or Filipinos?

    UPDATE: From the comments:

    “53-40 party-line vote”

    40 Democrats voted against a gay person of color.

    Thank God we have Trump to roll over such bigotry in the name of diversity.

    But I thought VP Pence would be throwing gays in camps handing out electric shock therapies???

    whembly (c30c83) — 12/10/2019 @ 7:56 pm

    what narrative does that bust?

    Who cares that this guy is gay? Trump doesn’t care about nominations.

    Also, what’s your point that the democrats didn’t vote for someone who is gay or of color? Why do Instapundit type of Republicans so eagerly behave exactly as they have been demanding people not behave? I know, I know, sarcasm. That’s all y’all’ve got.

    This post is about Trump robbing a charity. He’s disgraced by it. There’s an open thread but posting this there wouldn’t disrupt something disgracing the king.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  12. OT: Sorry for different topic, but my irony meter ‘sploded on this narrative busting story:
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/dec/10/patrick-bumatay-openly-gay-trump-nominee-confirmed/
    From instapundit:

    WORST. HOMOPHOBIC. PRESIDENT. EVER. Senate confirms openly gay Trump nominee to 9th Circuit. “The Senate confirmed President Trump’s ninth judicial nominee to the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, elevating Patrick Bumatay, an openly gay Filipino man, to the federal bench over objections from his liberal home-state senators.”

    So do Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris hate gays, or Filipinos?

    UPDATE: From the comments:

    “53-40 party-line vote”

    40 Democrats voted against a gay person of color.

    Thank God we have Trump to roll over such bigotry in the name of diversity.

    But I thought VP Pence would be throwing gays in camps handing out electric shock therapies???

    whembly (c30c83) — 12/10/2019 @ 7:56 pm

    what narrative does that bust?

    That Trump, Pence and the GOP are homophobes.

    Who cares that this guy is gay?

    Obviously Trump, Pence and the GOPs.

    Trump doesn’t care about nominations.

    Wat? He doesn’t stop talking about them.

    Also, what’s your point that the democrats didn’t vote for someone who is gay or of color?

    Democrats always engages in identity politics…


    except when it doesn’t benefit them.

    Why do Instapundit type of Republicans so eagerly behave exactly as they have been demanding people not behave? I know, I know, sarcasm. That’s all y’all’ve got.

    Erm. What?

    I’m only abiding by the same rules that’s been foisted upon us… and, enjoying schadenfreude as well.

    This post is about Trump robbing a charity. He’s disgraced by it. There’s an open thread but posting this there wouldn’t disrupt something disgracing the king.

    Dustin (cafb36) — 12/10/2019 @ 8:08 pm

    And he’s being held to account… is he not?

    whembly (c30c83)

  13. Talk about straw-men. We know that Trump is not a homophobe, whembly. Believe me, we know! The whole world knows! If YOU know what I mean and I think you do.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. And I wish I could add “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”, but I cannot when his man-crushes are Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Recep Erdogan, and the random Taliban commander.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. @10 Pence does appear to believe in conversion therapy, which doesn’t work. You might as well just throw orange juice at people every time they make a statement of being gay as send someone to conversion therapy, though it would be harder on their clothes.

    Nic (896fdf)

  16. From the beginning, I’ve said that Trump was a total fraud. That’s why I would never vote for him. This guy is as corrupt as they come. He’s also as incompetent as they come. Grifters get away with their cons because they’re intelligent. Trump is stupid.

    He tries to mimic mob bosses and fails every time.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  17. This post is not factually accurate and should be corrected with as visible an update.

    The NY AG alleged many things that were not admitted by settlement or found by judge or jury, including that Trump misused charity funds for personal and campaign purposes. Contra Dana’s headline, the court found that all funds raised by Trump’s charity were disbursed to the advertised charities and charitable functions. Anyone claiming or implying otherwise is either lying or negligently spreading false propoganda.

    Trump’s charity agreed to pay a fine, not because it misused funds, but because of technical, organizational mistakes and errors.* Basically, Trump didn’t follow all of the forms necessary to maintain a corporate non-profit as a corporate non-profit like holding regular board meetings. These allegations were appended to the fake allegations that Trump, as Dana falsely described it, used the charity funds as his personal piggy bank, and they are the only allegations that were found to be meritorious.

    I am going to assume for now that Dana was misled by the NY AG’s bait and switch. He alleged salacious fake claims, along with ho hum stuff that is rarely ever charged, and then claimed the fake salacious stuff was admitted when a settlement was paid on the ho hum charges he wouldn’t have brought against a political ally. But make no mistake: Dana has promulgated fake news. If it isn’t corrected, well . . . . .

    Scalito (d62332)

  18. 16. Don’t be too quick to write Trump off. He was smart enough in 2016 that he occupies the Oval Office now. That was no fluke.

    Gryph (08c844)

  19. Scalito, do you have any information to substantiate your claims?

    Time123 (b87ded)

  20. Wow! The orange trolls are out in force. They probably are scared that this will develop into a criminal tax fraud case because the Fifth Avenue Four-flusher doubtlessly used his purportedly charitable foundation as a tax dodge to claim charitable tax deductions that he was not entitled to.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. The facts are simple:
    1. Roy Cohn’s slicked-up boy toy used a fake charity as his alter ego;
    2. He did it with other people’s money as well as his own; and
    3. He used it to benefit himself along with his family, his friends and his political allies, and to cheat on his taxes.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. Time123:

    The best proof are publicly available Court orders in the the NY case file. Unfortunately, I cannot upload the PDF files here for you to review.

    Nevertheless, there are isolated incidents of better than usual reporting on this subject that include some quotes from the court orders that are sufficient to give the fake news game away. Here is an example at CNBC:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/07/trump-ordered-to-pay-2-million-to-settle-trump-foundation-suit.html

    Note that the court explicitly refused to hit Trump’s charity with punitive damages because ALL of the money his campaign raised for the charity on behalf of veterans went to veterans’ charities. The claim that he used the money as a “personal piggy bank” was and is a lie. What Trump did, what got him dinged, was fail to adequately meet pro forma requirements of corporate law, which allowed the court to hold that Trump blurred the line between his charity and his campaign when raising the funds for charity (i.e., the court said that Trump’s campaign used the charities giving to further his presidential campaign by making Trump look charitable).

    Again, the court found the money went to the charities it was raised for.

    So why the contrary headlines? Well, if you read the initial reporting, the media quite sneakily states that Trump settled a case alleging he misused the funds. They thus allow readers to believe Trump was guilty as charged. But that’s a lie by omission because Trump was found to have sent the money where it belonged and guilty of technical, corporate form requirements.

    Scalito (d62332)

  23. @10 and 15. Pence believes a lot of stuff, but he’s become adept at stowing his feelings on homosexuality, marriage, infidelity, theft, graft, lying, vajayjay grabbing, and basic Christian principles of Chrisitanity 101. You can see it written on the constipated expression he wears like a mask to cover his naked ambition and the selling of his soul.

    JRH (52aed3)

  24. The claim that he used the money as a “personal piggy bank” was and is a lie.

    No it’s not:

    Trump and his business have already repaid the foundation about $338,000 since The Post began its reporting on the Trump Foundation, to reimburse the charity for various improper expenditures.

    That includes:

    1) A $100,000 check illegally used as a prop on-stage during a campaign rally

    2) A $25,000 illegal donation to the political campaign of Pam Bondi

    3) Over $250,000 illegally used to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses

    4) Sports memorabilia and portraits purchased for himself

    Further:

    All of these incidents — the donation at the Iowa fundraiser, the donation to Bondi, the helmet and the painting — were cited in the settlement [n.b.: the settlement that Trump agreed to] as examples of improper spending.

    Dave (1bb933)

  25. Contra Dana’s headline, the court found that all funds raised by Trump’s charity were disbursed to the advertised charities and charitable functions. Anyone claiming or implying otherwise is either lying or negligently spreading false propoganda.

    The person “spreading false propaganda” is you, Scalito. The foundation wasn’t dissolved for shoddy paperwork, it went kaput because, according to a judge’s ruling, the Trump Foundation “engaged in improper political activity and self-dealing transactions.” But perhaps you can convince Dana that $10,000 of foundation money for a portrait of Trump, placed at one of his resorts, was just a clerical error. Or how the $100,000 of foundation cash that went to settle a lawsuit between Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago was a paperwork mix-up.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  26. Greta thunberg named time person of the year an excellent choice!

    asset (62c4f5)

  27. But perhaps you can convince Dana that $10,000 of foundation money for a portrait of Trump, placed at one of his resorts, was just a clerical error. Or how the $100,000 of foundation cash that went to settle a lawsuit between Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago was a paperwork mix-up.

    Alternative Facts! Deep State! FISA! Crowdstrike! Whaddabout Obama! Whaddabout Bush! Whaddabout Lincoln! Hunterrrrrr Biiiiiiiiden!

    Dave (1bb933)

  28. This:

    President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the Internal Revenue Service that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families. The admission was contained in the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s IRS tax filings for 2015, which were recently posted online at the nonprofit-tracking site GuideStar. A GuideStar spokesman said the forms were uploaded by the Trump Foundation’s law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

    The Washington Post could not immediately confirm if the same forms had actually been sent to the IRS. In one section of the form, the IRS asked whether the Trump Foundation had transferred “income or assets to a disqualified person.” A disqualified person, in this context, might be Trump — the foundation’s president — or a member of his family or a Trump-owned business.

    The foundation checked yes.

    For 2015, the Trump Foundation checked “yes” when asked whether it had transferred “income or assets to a disqualified person” — which in this context might be Trump, a member of his family or a Trump-owned business — and checked “yes” again when asked if it had engaged in any acts of self-dealing in prior years. For 2014, The foundation answered “no” to these questions. Another line on the form asked whether the Trump Foundation had engaged in any acts of self-dealing in prior years.

    The Trump Foundation checked yes again.

    Further:

    In articles offering an overall look at Trump’s charitable giving, Fahrenthold has explained that the billionaire gave $1 million to a veteran’s group this year after promising he would do so on the campaign trail (but failing to do so until pressed by the media).

    And before that donation?

    In the 15 years prior to the veterans donation, Trump promised to donate earnings from a wide variety of his moneymaking enterprises: “The Apprentice.” Trump Vodka. Trump University. A book. Another book. If he had honored all those pledges, Trump’s gifts to charity would have topped $8.5 million.

    But in the 15 years prior to the veterans’ gift, public records show that Trump donated about $2.8 million through a foundation set up to give his money away — less than a third of the pledged amount — and nothing since 2009.

    Records show Trump has given nothing to his foundation since 2008. Trump and his staff are adamant that he has given away millions privately, off the foundation’s books. Trump won’t release his tax returns, which would confirm such gifts, and his staff won’t supply details.

    Dana (643cd6)

  29. Gotta go with Dana on this one.

    Nice post, than you for being thurough

    Time123 (d54166)

  30. Here you go, Scalito.

    Dana (643cd6)

  31. Also, Scalito, you might want to review David Farenthold’s deep-dive into Trump using his charity to pay off business debts here.

    Further, here is a look at how he used his foundation funds for his 2016 run:

    During their meeting in Trump’s office, they discussed Christian faith and religious liberty. Smith was struck by “a different Donald Trump than I expected.” On his way out the door, Smith asked that Trump consider donating to the Palmetto Family Council.

    “He was never heavy-handed about any quid pro quo,” Smith said.

    But Trump delivered.

    “It was a quiet donation that came with a simple cover letter,” Smith said. It read: “Great meeting with you and your wife in my office,” dated May 6, 2011. Enclosed was a check for $10,000 from the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

    That check is one of at least several donations to suggest Trump used his private foundation, funded by outside donors, to launch and fuel his political ambitions. Such contributions, if they were made solely for Trump’s benefit, could violate federal self-dealing laws for private foundations.

    Dana (643cd6)

  32. But make no mistake: Dana has promulgated fake news. If it isn’t corrected, well . . .

    Contra Dana’s headline, the court found that all funds raised by Trump’s charity were disbursed to the advertised charities and charitable functions. Anyone claiming or implying otherwise is either lying or negligently spreading false propoganda.

    Scalito, I would like you to withdraw your accusations of me having “promulgated fake news,” “lying,” and “negligently spreading false propoganda [sic]”.

    Dana (643cd6)

  33. I see the Trump humpers are out in full force on this thread.

    Gryph (08c844)

  34. If it isn’t corrected, well . . .

    The more I think about this, the more I find it unacceptable. Well…, what exactly??? Say it loud, and say it proud if you’re going to imply that something will come as a result if I don’t bend to your wishes. First, I am not incorrect. Second, I don’t like your tone, I don’t like the implication that something not good may happen because I disagree with you. And third, get your facts straight before you make accusations about another person. You see, I could call you an “ass,” a “jerkwad,” an “idiot,” a “dumbshit,” or any other choice descriptors for your incorrect accusations and general jerk-like behavior, but I don’t have to because you have already made it clear for everyone to read.

    Dana (643cd6)

  35. Dana, thank you for your response. I’m afraid that I am less than convinced, however, because all you’ve done is set forth the original accusations. The memorandum you linked to is literally the NY AG’s brief against Trump’s charity.

    Do you know what’s missing? A court order holding that the accusations were proven or a settlement agreement admitting the accusations are true. Yet that is what the recent news reports you passed on purport to tell. Everyone, including you, are claiming the Court held Trump used his charity as a personal piggy bank. That’s just not so.

    The NY AG made allegations, but the Court found Trump paid out to charities all funds raised for charities. That should he the headline because it happens to be true.

    Scalito (509a7c)

  36. Scalito,

    Exactly what have you set forth other than accusations?

    Dana (643cd6)

  37. OT- friendly suggestion, Dana- create an open thread for tonight’s HJC impeach debate. It is turning out to be entertaining theater.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  38. P.s.

    While I disagree with the accuracy of your reporting, Dana, I retract any implication that you sought to intentionally mislead. I never actually meant to aim that barb at you. I think you passed on reporting that is almost universally bad, so you can be forgiven for being fooled. But I urge you to look at the actual court orders in the underlying case to see how much of the allegations were actually found against Trump. It’s not what’s being reported.

    Scalito (509a7c)

  39. Dana,

    I don’t have the ability to upload PDF documents like you do on your website, but clearly you have access to the case documents because you posted one of them. Please go and look at the court orders. See for yourself if they support the reporting.

    Between you and me: they don’t.

    Scalito (509a7c)

  40. 39. I hope that boot leather tastes good, Scalito.

    Gryph (08c844)

  41. Hmm, that reminds me of how, just the other day, I was down at the Illinois Secretary of State, and the lady said “You didn’t fill out the right form”, and I said “Oops, sorry, here, take this $2 million”. It happens all the time. Humanum errare est.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. Do you know what’s missing? A court order holding that the accusations were proven or a settlement agreement admitting the accusations are true.

    Then you didn’t read my comment, Scalito, which is here, which has a link to the judge’s ruling. You’ve been fact-checked.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)


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