U.S. News


Judge Orders Trump To Pay $2 Million For Misuse Of Foundation Funds

A judge says President Trump "breached his fiduciary duty" in part by letting his campaign distribute money raised at a Trump Foundation fundraiser.
Posted at 9:45 PM, Nov 07, 2019

A New York state judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million in damages for misusing funds from his charity to help fund his 2016 campaign.

In her decision filed Thursday, the judge said President Trump "had breached his fiduciary duty to the [Trump] Foundation" when he let his campaign collaborate with his foundation on a 2016 fundraiser for veterans. President Trump acknowledged he gave his campaign control over disbursing the $2.8 million raised from the event "to further [his] political campaign." He also admitted that the charity fundraiser was, in fact, a campaign event. 

The judge ordered that President Trump distribute the $2 million to a group of nonprofit organizations that he has no relation to. The Trump Foundation agreed to dissolve back in December, and its remaining liquid assets will be split among those nonprofits.

The ruling stems from a 2018 lawsuit filed by then-Attorney General for New York, Barbara Underwood. She called the foundation "little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality."

Current New York Attorney General Letitia James praised the court's decision, saying in a statement on Thursday: "The court's decision, together with the settlements we negotiated, are a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain. My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the President of the United States."

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.