President Trump will have to fork over $2 million in penalties after admitting to misusing the Donald Trump Foundation for his own political benefit, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday, declaring: “No one is above the law.”
The settlement resolves a civil case brought by the state of New York against the president and Trump children Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr. over what authorities deemed a “shocking pattern of illegality,” involving the foundation, including “unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign” and “repeated and willful self-dealing.” The Foundation was dissolved last December.
Trump, who had previously vowed never to settle the case, will now spend large to resolve the family’s wrongdoing.
BREAKING: We’ve secured a court order forcing President Trump to pay $2M in damages after admitting to illegally using the Trump Foundation to help him intervene in the 2016 presidential election and further his own political interests.
No one is above the law.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) November 7, 2019
According to a statement by James’ office, the settlement requires the president to admit fault: “Chiefly, Mr. Trump admits to personally misusing funds at the Trump Foundation, and agrees to restrictions on future charitable service.” The Trump children also agreed to submit to mandatory training. “The Trump Foundation has shut down, funds that were illegally misused are being restored, the president will be subject to ongoing supervision by my office, and the Trump children had to undergo compulsory training to ensure this type of illegal activity never takes place again,” James said.
As an example of Trump’s misuse of Trump Foundation funds, James described how “Mr. Trump and his campaign doled out $500,000 at a campaign rally in the days leading up to the first primary election in the nation, the Iowa caucuses.” Requiring Trump’s payment of $2 million, New York Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla wrote that “Mr. Trump breached his fiduciary duty to the Foundation” by “allowing his campaign to orchestrate the Fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the Foundation, to direct distribution of the Funds, and using the Fundraiser and distribution of the Funds to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign.”
Trump’s $2 million in damages will be added to $1.78 million in foundation assets that will be distributed among eight charities, including the Children’s Aid Society, the United Negro College Fund, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
President Trump released a statement about the settlement painting himself as the victim of “political hacks.”
STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP pic.twitter.com/EktztHfLk6
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2019
UPDATE: Rolling Stone has obtained the legal documents concluding this case, including the judge’s decision and the stipulations agreed to by Donald Trump.