N.Y. Says Trump Foundation Stops Fundraising in Stateby
Charity hasn’t filed required paperwork in years, top cop says
State attorney general already probing Trump University
Donald J. Trump’s foundation has stopped accepting donations in New York to comply with a cease and desist letter issued two weeks ago over its failure to properly register as a charity under state law, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The Republican presidential candidate’s namesake nonprofit organization confirmed to the attorney general that it halted fundraising in the state as part of receiving an extension for turning over delinquent financial reports, Doug Cohen, a spokesman for Schneiderman, said in an e-mail on Monday.
Schneiderman, a Democrat and an outspoken critic of the billionaire, has said the Trump Foundation was violating New York laws that require charities to register with a state oversight agency and submit yearly audited financial statements. The foundation solicited contributions in New York this year despite failing to register, the attorney general said.
Alan Garten, general counsel for the New York-based Trump Organization, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment Monday.
The dispute over registration of the charity thew up another legal concern for the candidate in his home state ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Schneiderman is also pursuing a fraud case against Trump University, in which the billionaire is accused of ripping off students with bogus real-estate seminars. Trump and the university also face two lawsuits by former students in San Diego. Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.
The probe into Trump’s charity has also given Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton fresh ammunition as she seeks to get past questions over the propriety of her family’s own foundation and portray Trump as untrustworthy. Schneiderman and Trump have a long history of exchanging harsh words, which may undercut the attorney general’s investigation.
When Schneiderman first began the probe of the charity last month, Trump’s senior communications adviser Jason Miller said in a statement that the attorney general was a "partisan hack who has turned a blind eye to the Clinton Foundation for years and has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president." Trump himself has repeatedly attacked Schneiderman in postings on Twitter.
Trump’s foundation has come under scrutiny amid reports in the Washington Post that Trump used it buy two portraits of himself at charity events and that he used donations by the foundation to settle business disputes, both despite his not having given to the foundation for several years. Trump’s foundation also paid a penalty for an improper political donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican.