The New York State attorney general’s office is suing the Donald J. Trump Foundation for “violating campaign finance laws, self-dealing, and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.” The suit alleges that the charity used its funds to help Trump curry political favor, and seeks to dissolves the charity, to ban Trump and his three children from serving on non-profit organizations, and to collect $2.8 million in restitution (“the amount raised for the foundation at a 2016 Iowa political fund-raiser.”). Interested readers can find the petition here.
These election law violations are just the latest on a laundry list of unfit behavior, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, inappropriate pardons, obstruction of justice, and generally dishonest behavior; however, these charges seem especially important. It may be a local’s bias, a sort of impeachment ethnocentrism, but it feels significant that these charges are brought so soon after the resignation of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who was alleged to have illegally used his charity to raise campaign finance funds. In a country where the removal of executive officials is so rare, it may be that Greitens’ resignation could act as a sort of precedent. Is using a charity to raise campaign funds the line one must not cross?
Damon Winter/The New York Times