Politics

Florida figures in New York's multimillion-dollar suit against President Trump

Donald Trump tees off on the renovated Red Tiger golf course at Trump National Doral Miami on Jan. 12, 2015. The New York State Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit on June 14, 2018, taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign. Several of the cited locations include Florida Trump holdings like the Trump National Doral, Mar-a-Lago and his Jupiter golf course.
Donald Trump tees off on the renovated Red Tiger golf course at Trump National Doral Miami on Jan. 12, 2015. The New York State Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit on June 14, 2018, taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign. Several of the cited locations include Florida Trump holdings like the Trump National Doral, Mar-a-Lago and his Jupiter golf course. Miami Herald File

There's always a Florida connection.

On Thursday, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed suit against President Donald Trump alleging "persistently illegal conduct" at the president’s personal charity and asked that the Donald J. Trump Foundation be dissolved, The Associated Press reported.

Underwood alleges that Trump repeatedly misused the nonprofit to pay off his businesses' creditors and to stage a multimillion-dollar giveaway at his 2016 campaign events.

Among the attorney general's charges, she alleges that these expenditures included a $100,000 payment to settle legal claims against Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach and $158,000 to settle legal claims against Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.

And $10,000 to purchase a painting of President Trump displayed at the Trump National Doral.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation purchased the four-foot-tall Havi Schanz portrait of Trump at an auction staged at Mar-a-Lago in 2014.

trump portrait.jpg
A painting by artist Havi Schanz of Donald Trump at Trump International Doral. Havi Schanz Handout

The Donald J. Trump Foundation "was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality," the Democratic attorney general said.

In addition to asking the state to dissolve the foundation, the suit — which also names Trump's eldest children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka — seeks $2.8 million in restitution and bars Trump from leading any other New York nonprofit for 10 years.

In a response, the Trump Foundation called the lawsuit "politics at its very worst" in a statement.

On Twitter, President Trump attacked "sleazy New York Democrats" and former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, touted the foundation's fundraising, and vowed he would not settle the case.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.
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