The Swamp Water Ethics
Of The New American Era
New York State Lawsuit Against Donald J. Trump Foundation Cites
‘Persistent Illegal Conduct’
June 15, 2018
Chronicle News & Opinion
White House photo
By Rex D. Cain
(NATIONAL) – There’s no mincing of words in the New York State Attorney General’s lawsuit filed against the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
This is not one of those lawsuits that touches on gray areas of alleged illegality. This lawsuit says, if you read between the already hard-hitting lines, that Donald Trump Sr., the current President of the United States along with Trump Jr., little Ivanka and Eric Trump were operating an ongoing illegal enterprise with Trump’s so-called non-profit foundation, all the while employing the ethics that a junkyard dog on his best day might possess.
If you’d care to take a good look at how the Trump’s thought a non-profit should work (for them) read the 41-pages of that lawsuit . By all means, please do so.
The first paragraph of the lawsuit says it all:
“For more than a decade, the Donald J. Trump Foundation has operated in persistent violation of state and federal law governing New York State charities. This pattern of illegal conduct by the Foundation and its board members includes improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law.”
“The Attorney General therefore brings this special proceeding to dissolve the Foundation for its persistently illegal conduct, enjoin its board members from future service as a director of any not-for-profit authorized by New York law, to obtain restitution and penalties, and to direct the Foundation to cooperate with the Attorney General in the lawful distribution of its remaining assets to qualified charitable entities.”
Just take all that in for a moment. The New York AG’s office launched a probe into this sham foundation in 2016 and went through it’s books meticulously.
They found that this nest of smug, self-dealing Trumps couldn’t even put up a decent facade of doing good with this foundation, as foundations were intended to be used.
This operation was simply, according to the lawsuit, an in-your-face-we-are-above-the-law-and-we-don’t-care-what-the-law-says scam.
The thing reeks of the stench of privilege that wealthy people think they are entitled to.
The AG’s office probe found that:
“The Foundation operated without any oversight by a functioning board of directors. Decisions concerning the administration of the charitable assets entrusted to the care of the Foundation were made without adequate consideration or oversight, and resulted in the misuse of charitable assets for the benefit of Donald J. Trump ("Mr. (" Trump") Trump" and his personal, political and/or business interests. In sum, the Investigation revealed that the Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr. Trump or the Trump Organization.
This resulted in multiple violations of state and federal law because payments were made using Foundation money regardless of the purpose of the payment. Mr. 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...the foundation and its directors and officers violated multiple sections of the N-PCL, the EPTL, and the Executive Law, including provisions that prohibit foundations from making false statements in filings with the Attorney General, engaging in self dealing, wasting charitable assets, or violating the Internal Revenue Code by, among other things, making expenditures to influence the outcome of an election.”
“The Foundation's directors failed to meet basic fiduciary duties and abdicated all responsibility for ensuring that the Foundation's assets were used in compliance with the law. The violations that resulted were significant and not only ran afoul of the applicable provisions of the N-PCL, the EPTL, and the Executive Law, but also resulted in the Foundation failing to comply with the terms of its own certificate of incorporation.”
Did you catch that? This scam foundation, according to the lawsuit, “operated without any oversight” and the thing was little more than a “checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr. Trump or the Trump Organization. ‘
The lawsuit provides a bit more focus now of why former Office of Government Ethics chief Walter Shaub resigned in July 2017 after going public with disagreements with the White House.
Disagreements over basic ethics issues such as Trump Sr.’s plans not to divest his business holdings and to leave his family members in charge of those businesses.
Shaub later said he would have preferred to remain just a government employee working away in obscurity but felt it was his duty to tell the American people about ethical breaches in the Trump administration.
"I had to walk away from the best job I ever had, or ever will have, and an ethics program to which I devoted the bulk of my career. I wish nobody knew my name.”
In one interview Shaub said he and his wife talked about the possibility of losing their condo if he walked away from his White House job and could not find a comparable paying job elsewhere. That’s how strongly he felt about the lack of ethics in the Trump administration. And now this lawsuit.
The Donald Responds
And what is the Donald’s response to the lawsuit? Typcial “it’s all a Democrat conspiracy!” nonsense. Here’s Captain Hairspray’s tweet on the issue:
“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!...
....Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years. Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle.”
Blah, blah, blah. How many conspiracies can one goofball billionaire come up with? Answer: a never ending stream.
Decide for yourself what kind of people are now controlling the US government from the White House and what kind of Republican lawmakers are supporting them in that effort.