The Donald J. Trump Foundation was a private foundation founded in 1987 by Donald J. Trump, the former President of the United States. The foundation’s primary purpose was to distribute funds to various charitable organizations. However, it faced legal scrutiny for alleged misuse of funds and violations of nonprofit laws.
- Establishment and Early Operations: The Trump Foundation was established to support charitable causes and initiatives. Over the years, it donated funds to a range of organizations, including those involved in health, education, and veterans’ affairs.
- Allegations of Misuse of Funds: The foundation faced allegations of using its funds for personal and political purposes rather than exclusively for charitable activities. This included accusations that Trump used foundation money to settle legal disputes, purchase items for personal use, and contribute to political campaigns.
- Lawsuit by New York Attorney General: In 2018, the New York Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation, alleging a pattern of persistent illegal conduct. The lawsuit sought to dissolve the foundation and called for restitution of funds and additional penalties.
- Settlement and Dissolution: In December 2018, Donald Trump agreed to a settlement to dissolve the Trump Foundation under court supervision. As part of the settlement, Trump admitted to improperly using foundation funds for personal and political purposes. The settlement also included an agreement for the remaining funds to be distributed to legitimate charitable organizations.
- Penalties and Restrictions: The settlement imposed penalties on Trump and his three eldest children, who were also foundation board members. Additionally, the settlement included restrictions on their involvement in other New York charities.
- Criticism and Political Fallout: The legal issues surrounding the Trump Foundation became a subject of criticism and political controversy during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and presidency. Critics argued that the foundation’s operations raised questions about Trump’s business practices and ethical conduct.
While the settlement involved civil penalties and admissions of improper conduct, it did not lead to criminal charges against Donald Trump or his family members.