US President Donald Trump's charity foundation named after him will be shutting down amid allegations that he and others from his family illegally misused its funds.
The charitable foundation has agreed to dissolve under judicial supervision as it was being investigated for misappropriation of its funds, according to a document filed by the New York state Attorney General's office.
The attorney general's civil lawsuit against the foundation, which names the President and his three eldest children -- Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric -- violated election campaign-finance laws such as funneling up to US $3 million in funds to boost Trump’s campaign. The case says the foundation’s tax-exempt status was also abused by the Trump family members. Rather than operating it as a genuine charity, the lawsuit states, they instead allowed it to be used "as little more than a cheque book to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests."
The US President himself has been accused of using the charity foundation to pay off legal settlements within his business and even to buy a painting of himself to hang in one of his Trump golf clubs.
In a statement, New York’s attorney general Barbara Underwood said: “Our petition detailed a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more… This is an important victory for the rule of law, making clear that there is one set of rules for everyone.”
Trump and his eldest children have yet to comment on the developments but Trump Foundation lawyer Alan Futerfas while speaking to BBC said: "Contrary to the NYAG's [New York Attorney General] misleading statement... the foundation has been seeking to dissolve and distribute its remaining assets to worthwhile charitable causes since Donald J Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election… The NYAG's inaccurate statement of this morning is a further attempt to politicize this matter."