Trump Foundation Finally Shutting Down After Admitting It Broke 'Self-Dealing' Law

Frederick Owens
November 22, 2017

The Trump Foundation past year admitted violating federal rules against "self-dealing", and Trump said last December he would dissolve the organization to avoid conflicts of interest.

Donations to President Trump's private charity reached their highest point in almost a decade, nearly $3 million, as he ran a winning campaign for the White House previous year, a new tax filing shows.

By the end of 2016, the Trump Foundation was worth about $970,000, according to NBC News. "The foundation announced its intent to dissolve and is seeking approval to distribute its remaining funds" to other charities, NBC News reported, citing IRS documents.

Schneiderman's press secretary, Amy Spitalnick, noted that the Trump Foundation could not fully dissolve until the state investigation into its activities had concluded. In September 2016, NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced an investigation into the foundation "to make sure it's complying with the laws governing charities in NY".

In one section of the 2015 form, as The Washington Post first reported, the IRS asked whether the Trump Foundation had transferred "income or assets to a disqualified person".

Trump Foundation raised $2.9 million in 2016 - nearly as much as it had raised in the preceding four years combined - according to its annual tax filing for 2016. Trump's most recent personal contribution to the charity came in 2008, when he donated $30,000, tax filings show.

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While Trump and his allies will likely spin the foundation's closing as a promise kept, it's important to remember that it's only being shut down because it was exposed as a complete sham organization.

The foundation also attracted scrutiny from the NY attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, who found it had violated fund-raising rules and ordered it to cease soliciting contributions the month before the election.

"The foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children", Trump said in a statement at the time.

The Trump Foundation raised $2.9 million and donated $3 million in 2016. That sum is down from $1.12 million to start the year.

Popularly known as J.J. Cafaro, he was convicted in 2002 of paying a bribe to former Ohio Rep. James Traficant.

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