Shortly before the upcoming fall midterm elections, the Donald J. Trump Foundation will be defending itself in court, taking place in New York. Things do not seem to turn out ending well for the foundation itself, as well as Donald Trump and his involved children: Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric. They are also being sued by New York’s attorney general, Barbara Underwood. They are being sued for using the charity for personal monetary benefits for the Trump family themselves. Saliann Scarpulla, the cases judge, made a series on comments on Tuesday hinting that she believes the Trump family has done some bad things involving these accusations.
Scarpulla seemed to be confused as to why the Trump family would fight against this case. She even told a lawyer representing Donald Trump’s children that they should “settle out of court and voluntarily agree to one of the sanctions”. Those sanctions being that they not serve on the boards of any non profit organization for one year, as demanded by the Attorney General. The case is set to carry out with a trial in civil court, while the Trumps are not facing any criminal charges. However, that is not a necessarily harsh punishment. Though to accede this small punishment would acknowledge the families wrongdoing and guilt for using the foundation as a private fund to gain more money for themselves and those around them. The judge is very clear in feeling that the Trump children should agree to the sanction now. If they do not, however, she will most likely impose a similar restriction.
The case does not look too favorable for the Trumps’. Charitable foundations and operations are only allowed to operate without paying taxes if their leadership insures that 100% of the money is spent for the intended purpose, and not personal gain. Attorney General Underwood brought a case that clearly shows the Trump foundation was not being -wellmanaged. It also shows that they were not focussed on what would benefit the public. Their work was exceptionally sloppy, and one of the board members even said that he had no idea he was on the board himself. He claimed that to his knowledge, the board never even met. This will not aid their case in proving to be a strong, properly functioning organization. Given this, it makes sense that other normal functions of a non-profit organization were not present. The foundation did not even do some of the “charitable acts” that they claimed to be doing; as exposed in 2016 articles by David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post.
It seems to be that in recent years, the only “contributions” have come from business partners and not from the Trumps or their organization. The charity’s spending shows to have benefitted the Trumps, which almost prove accusations. They by no means benefited public welfare as promised. This however, is no surprise. This is how the foundation has been operating for several years. According to Underwood, the Trump Foundation became a strong part of Donald Trump’s political presidential campaign. They were supposedly cutting checks with the foundations money to to allies of Trump prior to the election. So not only was the foundation possibly being used just to avoid taxes, but it could have also been used in campaign-financing fraud.
The Attorney General did not hide the fact that her evidence could support criminal cases against the Trumps’. However, she does not have the jurisdiction to bring charges since tax fraud and campaign fraud are federal matters. The case has been referred to federal officials. Though unfortunately, it is doubtful that the I.R.S. or the Federal Election Commission would prosecute against the current President or his children.
Alan Futerfas, the Trump Foundation’s lawyer, asked for the trial to be pushed on Tuesday’s hearing. He wants the trial to commence in October since it is so close to the midterm elections. However, the judge did not give way. Instead, she hinted that she might make President Donald Trump testify in court.
It is unlikely for the trial to change voting patterns. However, it is an eye-opener to the unprofessional and irresponsible workings of the Trump Organization. Where most companies choose to keep their financial situations a secret, the Trump Organization is typically “open”. This just might come back to bite them. Though of course, we do not know everything.
Several e-emails have been subpoenaed between Donald Trump and Allen Weisselberg. Allen was first hired by Fred Trump, and controlled Donalds finances for quite a long time, and handled various aspects involving the Trump Organization’s Finances. He will also be required to testify at the trial.