Trump Ordered to Pay $2 Million to Charities for Misuse of Foundation

The president admitted he had used funds raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation to promote his campaign and pay business debts.

Comments: 191

  1. ...after the president admitted misusing money raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation to promote his presidential bid. Is this not a violation of Federal election financing laws? Shouldn't Trump have to pay income taxes (in addition to the $2M damages) on the money raised by his foundation? Who, in the Federal government, will step up and hold this man accountable?

  2. @MS Not to worry: we have a whole party of "fiscal responsibility" hawks who are eager to punish government waste. Now excuse me while I go dry my eyes from the laughter.

  3. That is a very good question.

  4. @MS Trump has highlighted the institutional privilege, racism, misogyny of America’s Department of Justice. Trump considers the DOJ his private attorney and police force, like all autocrats and the degree to which Barr and Federal Prosecutor’s comply reveals the extent of corruption and violation of our “equal justice” Constitutional guarantees. Guarantees of equal justice implies equal representation before the law. Without equal representation, justice is a fraud in America.

  5. Given Trump’s predilection to grift, as exemplified by this legal ruling, would the Times please follow up and make sure that he 1) pays the fine; 2) the check doesn’t get returned for insufficient funds; and more likely 3) that one of his donors doesn’t pay the fine for him as a way of currying favor.

  6. @Observer In other words, we don't trust him!

  7. @Observer Here, here! I want real proof that this debt is paid and paid by the perp himself. Media - stay on this story until this debt is paid!

  8. As they say in the TV procedurals "the court is not a collection agency." Don't hold your breath regarding payment of the two million.

  9. Trump and his family can’t be trusted with a charitable foundation without remedial training, but are entrusted with running our country. Please, let us survive this administration.

  10. another example of how "rich people crime" is not governed by the same principles used for regular folks ...

  11. It is much better to be guilty and rich than innocent and poor.

  12. "I never settle any lawsuits", said our honest president. Many of us know that he settles most of his lawsuits. This one is his best yet and even better than the Trump University setlement. This one goes to the heart of who Trump is as a man. He is a con artist. Mr Trump took monies that were supposed to go to charities and used it for his campaign. His so called foundation funneled money directly to Donald J. Trump. How much more evidence do we need to know that our president is not who he claimed he was. Most of us knew that but this settlement is further evidence for the people who voted for Trump because they believed he was a charitable and honest businessman. As our president likes to say, "It was all a hoax".

  13. @Charna Won't make a bit of difference to some. As he said "I could shoot someone...." As long as they get their Supreme Court picks and support for their bigotry, they'll stick with him.

  14. He has already deducted it four times.

  15. @Charna The Trump father Fred started scamming the government to build his fortune. He taught his son well in just that one trait- lie and cheat to claim success.

  16. Trump’s use of his “charity” as a bank from which he could personally profit sounds just like his he treats taxpayer money as “president”.

  17. I'm sorry, Mr. Trump, but these are not "small technical violations," they are egregious distortions of the essence of what a charity is all about, and just one more example of how everything you do is seen solely through the lens of advancing your self-interest. The contrast between your admission of wrongdoing as required by this judge, and your immediate distortion via tweet is a perfect example of why I can never trust a word you say.

  18. Of course he exploited veterans for his own personal financial gain. That comes as a surprise to exactly no one. I just really hope the Democrats don’t let this one go as just another indiscretion of a bad person. This is campaign gold for the democrats. They should talk about this every single time they can.

  19. @Dan Write your congressmen/women and demand they make this a HUGE deal out of this. This is a despicable and treacherous act. Even the most hardened Trump supporters will waiver in their support knowing low life, draft dodging, bone spur faking, Trump lied about his fundraiser and instead stole this 3 million from Veterans to allocate to his own campaign. This low life, draft dodging, phony bone spur Trump DEFRAUDS our revered men and women so many of whom are suffering from their multiple deployments to serve and protect our country. Trump and his corrupt family are the most despicable treacherous subhumans on the face of this planet. A measly 2 million fine? That's chump change to the Trumps. It should be 100 million plus 10 years in jail. No one is above the law. And NO one can treat our Vets with such disdain.

  20. Our president admitted to significant wrongdoing by acknowlwedging that he spent funds raised by his charity to pay personal business and campaign debts, but announced to the world via Twitter that he was the victim of people out to get him. He was assessed a $2,000,000 dollar fine as a consequence for his malfeasance, but then told the world that he donated that sum to charity. Apparently, we live in a wolrd where people are happy to believe that up is down and black is white. As concerned as I am about the president's actions, I am more concerned about the number of people who believe his words.

  21. @Apple314 I wonder, can the people who donated to his foundation get a refund, since he didn't use the funds for the purpose in which it was given? And can the IRS kill the tax deductions they used?

  22. @Apple314 YESSSS!!!

  23. This charity was just one of the many ways that Trump and family hid money from the IRS, one more reason to see his taxes.

  24. And the IRS needs to make sure that he doesn't claim the money paid to nonprofit groups as a charitable donation!

  25. @HN Keep in mind .... this is the IRS , run by Charles Rettig ,who was chosen for the position AFTER writing an opinion piece stating Trump should NOT release his taxes. He's another toady , chosen for loyalty to the Trump criminal enterprise.

  26. Wait. The foundation raised 2.8 million and he was fined 2 million. That’s the art of the deal. We should all run charitable foundations. Win-win! Plus we can all get $10,000 portraits! Vets don’t need that money. Trump prefers people that didn’t serve anyways.

  27. @T. Rivers That 2 million is just the "cost of doing business" in order to get the $800,000. It's his standard operating procedure, and I don't understand why more people don't see it. In all his scams, even if he's caught, he literally gets to keep some of the money, for doing nothing other than conning people out of it. For fun, you should do the math on the Trump University thing. Those are scary big numbers.

  28. @T. Rivers What you write is so painfully and profoundly true. Wake up America!

  29. I love low hanging fruit! This is a high crime and misdemeanor. What are we waiting for!? This is theft pure and simple and the donors should be outraged.

  30. @MS Great point! how many poor people serve time, or at least are put on probation for far lesser "crimes"?

  31. @MS Trump's mindless cult followers will dismiss this shocking admission of egregious fraud by Trump by saying, "Uhhhhh, well I don't know if he really did that."

  32. Why no jail time for any Trumps? Serious fraud.

  33. Sure hope this will not become a tax deduction for him and family.

  34. Unfortunately, this won’t affect Republicans’ unwavering support of Trump at all.

  35. @Karen Lee EXACTLY! how sad...

  36. They are hopeless and deserving of what ever bad comes to trump

  37. I think many of us in education wrote Trump off a snake oil salesman when we heard about "Trump University." Why doers a billionaire need to peddle worthless education? Why does a billionaire need to make phony charitable contributions? Even if he is not as rich as he claims to be, this charitable foundation seems to have no other purpose than letting him congratulate himself as the sneakiest person in the room.

  38. @Robert Cadigan He does because he can and no one stops him. The more he can plaster the Trump name on things the happier he is.

  39. @Robert Cadigan He thinks he's the smartest person because he gets away with so much. Gollow the money and then close the loopholes.

  40. The IRS thing is just starting. Allegations are that Trump diverted vendor payments to foundation from his corporate bank accounts to avoid paying income taxes on his business income. Gonna get cute if he loses control of IRS.

  41. Anything illegal trump will try, upon failing he will blame others, over and over again

  42. The Donald J. Trump Foundation Trump University The Trump Presidency In all three cases, there is an endless stream of evidence of award-winning fraud, law-breaking and malignant narcissism as far as the eye can see. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou Wake up, Trumpistan; unapologetic fraud for breakfast, lunch and dinner is not good for you, America or the world.

  43. @Socrates Don't forget Trump Steaks!

  44. @Socrates, I am laughing to keep from crying, you have once again summed up the sorry and worrisome state of the Trump presidency. I keep thinking it can’t get worse but somehow each day he takes our nations’s highest office to depths I never imagined possible.

  45. why does the unflattering essence of Donald trump show up daily? It's because the full essence of Donald trump IS unflattering. VOTE

  46. And he has the gall to call the $2 mill he was ordered to pay to the charities a “gift”! Sorta reminds me of the classic definition of chutzpah: killing your parents and then throwing yourself at the mercy of the court because you’re an orphan!

  47. @Tom Seeley Calling it a gift will allow his financial advisers to claim it as a deduction on his next fraudulent income tax return (the return will go to himself not the IRS)

  48. @Tom Seeley Trump is the ultimate spin doctor.

  49. Being ridden out of town on a rail after being tarred and feathered and describing it as “leading a parade of townspeople”

  50. As a reminder, the fundraiser in question for veterans in Iowa was a stunt by Trump when he boycotted the last debate before the Iowa caucuses in 2016. It was widely known that the only check Support Siouxland Soldiers ever received was the giant novelty one in the photo op above. Yet just like with Trump University and several other scams, Donald Trump is able to escape any real consequences of his bad acts by writing a check out of funds he has demonstrated are probably not his own. It must be nice to live a consequence-free life.

  51. @Jimal Actually, I think he was forced to give the promised money after the WaPo published a story that proved he didn't. He certainly didn't give it voluntarily.

  52. @Jimal The look on that woman's face in the center says it all : (

  53. It is not like he will pay, his campaign will pay, his donors will pay.

  54. @swade if his campaign pays that would be a violation of the law...ny state is waiting...tick tock.

  55. @swade You should change to "his "marks" will pay.".

  56. Every day I find myself in a state of shock over the world of Trump. But the same shock applies to what seems to be a breakdown of the tools of justice and a pervasive public apathy that has left our voices too weak to demand that those in power truly do the right thing. The settlement is a total sham. The level of gall here is astonishing. The board, comprised of Trump and his kids (and perhaps some other cronies) never met over two decades. Money raised under the veil of doing good for worthy causes was appropriated by those in charge without any sense of consequence. A settlement that allows Trump to operate charities ever again is simply absurd. Given what is widely known about the manner in which Trump conducts business the idea of a board of independent directors ensuring proper control is ridiculous. Similarly, the idea that Eric, Donald Jr and Ivanka will “undergo training in order to ensure they will not engage in similar improprieties” is a joke. I’d love to get a look at this training. And the overall financial penalties have no impact to the perpetrators. For Justice Scarpulla and Letitia James to see this as a victory and justice prevailing seems incomprehensible. What are we all pretending not to know!

  57. @Alex Hyman If I were a betting man, I'd bet that one of the things the Tax Returns will not show is a lot of charitable donations. As in none. Possibly a fraction of what most people with his supposed level of wealth, more most likely none.

  58. Would not this issue be more comprehensive and viable for impeachment forcing “Republican” Senators to finally declare a sense of moral “courage” optimizing the result America deserves?

  59. @Paul Zimmermann Gardner Republicans have no courage -- moral or otherwise. I'm sure they see nothing wrong with Trump pretending to have a fundraiser for veterans in Iowa while in actuality having a rally for himself and pocketing the money for himself. Hey, the Republicans had no problem with his fraudulent Trump University in which he had to pay out $25 million to shut down the lawsuits for his having scammed the poor slobs who signed up for that con job. The Republicans instead of running away from the flimflam man instead nominated him to be president. He's one of them -- so they'll never willingly dump him.

  60. It is one of many, many illegal, moral lacking rules that trump has forced on Americans

  61. @Paul Zimmermann Gardner There their dodge would be that these actions were taken prior to his residency as il Presidente.

  62. Perhaps this is the first dent in his armor, but I fear it's just another diversion. Let's see Trump's tax returns and those of his "organization" and his offspring. That should be interesting reading. (And while we're waiting for that, I have been searching both the print and online editions for coverage of "A Warning," which was all over the news channels last night, including your own reporter. Did I miss this cycle's biggest story?)

  63. @CP "Warning" will be released Nov 19th. Meanwhile -- there are stories in various newspapers and on MSNBC highlighting some excerpts that have been released. I think I saw some quotes from the book in a NYT article.

  64. @CP To those waiting breathlessly on Trump's tax returns, let me make two predictions which will hopefully allow you to breath again. If his tax returns are ever released, (1) they will show massive fraud, and (2) it won't move the needle one millimeter on his support.

  65. @Ron but ny state is waiting in the wings to prosecute him for tax fraud. My prediction, the supremes won't take the case (they rarely do when lower court decision is unanimous) and ny will have his taxes before new years. Tick tock!

  66. He got off way to easy. He should've had to give until it really hurt.

  67. It was a tax shelter and source of revenue for trump for many years

  68. Characterizing this as “fiscal mismanagement” is as big a fraud as was Trump’s intentional theft of charitable donations for his own personal use. Both - use of normalizing language to describe a consistent pattern of violations of law - are hallmarks of the Trump era. Each is dependent on the other. And, I’m being charitable.

  69. I’m sure the term “fiscal mismanagement” was one agreed to in the terms of the settlement, not language in the original lawsuit against the Trumps and their foundation.

  70. Makes me wonder if by settling this, the president is admitting that it’s perfectly possible to investigate the president and hold him accountable. How does this not set a precedent that invalidates his refusals to cooperate with other investigations of his actions prior to taking office?

  71. @Daniel we can only imagine what info didn’t get out as a result of this settlement.

  72. That is a very good insight.

  73. I'm afraid that Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric will view their training as a source of information about more loopholes that they can exploit in future grifting enterprises.

  74. The IRS and States should start doing this across the board with all tax exempt foundations. Obviously, the case against Trump’s foundation was politically motivated but the others should not escape scrutiny. Too many foundations are used as tax-dodges, allowing friends and family members to write off travel and other expenses, self-aggrandize, etc, while doing very little charitable work. Time to stop this entire scam.

  75. @Park Bench Politically motivated? There are way too many stories of tRump's illegal activities that have been suppressed. I think this is the tip of the iceberg.

  76. @Park Bench Politically motivated? In other words the persons suing didn't care about the people trump robbed under false pretenses, all they wanted was o embarrass him? He needs no help embarrassing himself

  77. @Park Bench There's nothing 'obvious' about the political motivation. The IRS as well as the rest of our government resources who monitor these so-called 'charitable foundations' are pressed to the max. They'd love to jump on any and all of this sort of fraud, they just don't have the manpower. However, if the NYT shows some Trump portrait paid for out of foundation funds, some government guy somewhere is going to be assigned to look at it. Is that political motivation? I don't think so. It's more that the Trumps are too stupid to understand that once they are public figures they will be under more scrutiny than they might have been if they had kept a low profile. I've never seen anything like it. They don't even pretend to be honest.

  78. The lady holding the check in the photograph seems delighted to be there. Thanks for the great reporting, NYT. Keep it up. I hope sensible Americans come to the polls next November and vote the circus out.

  79. @PM Wonder how they feel now, knowing that their event was a fund raiser, not for their charity!

  80. Gee, I am so unimaginative. Now that I am enlightened, I am going to start a charity. It is to be called The Me Fund. People can donate money, the more the better. I promise that I will give money to people that might need some help. There will be no board, what's the sense. I will decide who the lucky donees will be. However, in the end, I'll probably be the only recipient. What a neat plan. That's not wrong is it?

  81. @geezer573 Not in trump’s world, nothing is illegal, remember 2nd Amendment?

  82. @geezer573 George Costanza beat you to it with "The Human Fund" - a name Trump is obviously prohibited from using due to his general lack of humanity.

  83. @geezer573 : So is this your platform for the Presidency next year? Good luck: it seems to have worked for Trump....

  84. What kind of billionaire cannot afford to pay $10,000 for a portrait from his own funds? And legal fees? Billionaire indeed!

  85. @Curious One I caught that too. It also said he paid ‘corporate debts’, lol. Clearly, this is another potential reason for DT not wanting to share his tax returns.

  86. @Curious One They worship only one thing- MONEY. They make their money the illegal way - cheating.

  87. @Curious One, he's like a kleptomaniac; he'll take something even if he could afford it. His character is a cheap one, in every sense of the word. He gets MORE pleasure out of looking at his own glorious visage, when he thinks of how he got it for nothing, from losers. Also, he's not a Billionaire. He's a millionaire, and even that's just on paper. He's a desperate clown, with spinning plates others set up for him. He can't keep them spinning, cuz it takes some talent. As every plate he touches wobbles and falls; when people start to walk out, he starts hurling plates at everyone, screaming that they are his enemies. But he keeps their money. And sues the town for laughing at him. Then makes up lies about how the rapt audience of thousands gave him billions out of gratitude. But he won't show the receipts to anyone who might want references.

  88. I didn't think I'd have to do math this late in life or this early in the morning but shouldn't he be required to give back $4 million since he, not only, ripped off the charities but the donors as well? How Christians, veterans and voters don't see his nonpartisan, nondenominational and cruel cons as pure evil astounds me now and will astound historians later.

  89. Court decision prohibits Trump from engaging in charitable organizations without the presence of independent directors, legal experts, and accounting firms well schooled in the activity. Trump's base permits him to run the country absent any responsible guardrails. Perfect.

  90. Thank you Mr Trump for your generous addition $2M court- ordered ‘donation’. Very generous of the court to oblige

  91. @Henry O You assume he will pay the court-ordered funds. Check where his restaurants have failed to pay fines for health code violations or his campaign has not paid a significant number of municipalities for his rally expenses, etc. A good bet is that there will be another article about how he never paid this fine. Another good bet is that his supporters will comment that he was justified in not paying the fine because it wasn't fair in the first place. Besides, laws don't apply to the King.

  92. "The charity gave his campaign complete control over disbursing the $2.8 million that the foundation had raised at a fund-raiser for veterans in Iowa " and yet still supported by a majority of veterans.

  93. @Smith That’s what the difference between people who knows the difference between truthful/trustworthy individuals & liars/never truthful & untrusted few amongst every neighborhoods by the very people who worked for/with such crooks. With multiple business bankruptcies and lawsuits in courts,those who still want to vote for this president is nothing but travesty for being so ignorant about the very facts which hurts their own interests. Those who knowingly want to axe their own feet,who we are as people to stop them! We just can extend goodwills for them & their families.

  94. Um... what's the "politically motivated" part, exactly? WaPo reported allegations and evidence of wrongdoing. Once that info was public, any DA or AG, regardless of their political persuasion, would have been duty-bound to investigate (that's called 'probable cause') and follow the law wherever the evidence led them.

  95. The Trump charity donates all money received to charitable organizations, and is fined $2M . A quick look at other charities shows that many do not contribute all money taken in to the charities, many contribute less than 50% of what is taken in. If it was Clinton's or Obama's charity, I doubt the scrutiny and outcome would be the same. Political bias playing any role here?

  96. Please name the charitable organizations that the Trump charity actually gave to, including amounts (if known), and not the ones it just promised to contribute to.

  97. @G G The point of the lawsuit is that he did not donate all its money to charity, but used money raised to benefit Trump's political campaign and to buy a portrait that sits in a hotel. He misrepresented what the money was being used for. It is fraud, and he should have had to pay a heftier fine.

  98. @G G, just stop. When trump admitted these things, why are you trying to do otherwise? If he DID donate all monies to charity, there wouldn't be a fine. "IF Clinton or Obama did it...." They didn't. That's the difference, silly. There were many investigations into the Clinton Foundation, if you remember. You DO remember, right? Just like everyone else, trump's actions and words are his alone. You can't blame Hillary or Obama, you poor thing. TRUMP ADMITTED HE SPENT DONATED MONEY ON HIMSELF. It's like trump supporters simply MUST defend the man. G G, when did the constitution and the established system of America's laws become 'political bias' in every single instance of trump's bad behavior? The laws applied to every official: Nixon, Reagan, Hoover, Jackson, Obama and now trump. Never in history have people like you just insisted that the president is effectively a god, and all criticism is an attempted coup. It's impossible to take you folks seriously. Adults use the law, and trump supporters use innuendo and smear campaigns.

  99. Operating a charity organized under state law and receiving significant state and federal tax benefits is a PUBLIC TRUST. And if Mr. Trump and his children knowingly and fraudulently operated a state-level private charity, why would anyone exhibiting a modicum of truthful judgment entrust Mr. Trrump and his family to operate the greatest public trust on Earth; The Presidency of the United States?

  100. It sure seems worse than having oral sex and lying about it.

  101. Why were none of the funds from the charity's assests or the fine given to veterans? The people that contributed in Iowa did so assuming that that was where their money was going. Also, will this information be reported in Star and Stripes? Will this information be discussed tonight by Hannity?

  102. Trump's full sentence in his statement was, “All they found was incredibly effective philanthropy and some small technical violations, such as not keeping board minutes." Don't let him get away with the spin. There were no minutes because there were no board meetings.

  103. The best part: Both sides agreed that three of Mr. Trump’s children who were officers of the foundation — Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump — will undergo training in order to ensure they do not engage in similar improprieties.

  104. If you believe the Trump kids didn’t know what they were doing was wrong, why do you think training them to be decent human beings will change them. They should have been fined as well. They should spend time in jail.

  105. @Ziggy They will probably sleep through it or hire the College admissions scandals guy to attend for them

  106. This was a *civil* action by a *state* court. The DOJ seemingly thinks the sitting President cannot he charged with criminal wrongdoing, and that DOJ memorandum is only effective (if at all) in federal courts.

  107. Though he had admitted wrongdoing in court papers, Mr. Trump attacked what he described as “the political hacks in New York State” in a defiant statement posted on Twitter on Thursday night, claiming that the foundation had given “100 percent of the funds to great charities” Seriously? The settlement couldn’t include an additional large fine for every time Trump or his employees lied in direct contradiction to his court-admitted illegalities?

  108. @KKnorp Trump aka the “Ultimate Spin Doctor’ (USD) is so good at spinning the truth; I doubt anyone can possibly predict or include enough verbiage to be able to prevent USD from spinning the truth in any direction, benefitting his persona.

  109. Another example of the Trumps as a family of grifters. It is shameful but I doubt it bothers them one bit. Instead of training on how to be a board member (as if they would be welcome again on any charitable board) how about community service? The topper was money for veterans spent on a self-portrait -a portrait that I suppose he still gets to display in one of his clubs.

  110. Does anyone believe that THIS time he will actually pay up? He may have signed the settlement, but then promptly tweeted that the whole process was more fraudulent persecution. How long before his followers start a Go-Fund-Me campaign to spare their hero’s wallet?

  111. So he runs his foundation as a scam and is caught. Of course he paints this as a victory. "The foundation also portrayed the damages awarded by Justice Scarpulla as a “contribution,” adding that it was “pleased to donate an additional $2 million” to “worthy organizations.”" Is there, in law, some point at which the Judge can say: "OK, the deal is that you walk away with your tail between your legs and thank your lucky stars that you got off with a lousy $2 million fine. If you want to call this some sort of victory, the deal is off and I'll see you back in court on Monday."? That to me would be justice.

  112. As soon as I saw the NYT headline "Trump Ordered to Pay $2 Million to Charities for Misuse of Foundation," this morning - it brought a smile to my face.  Trump up to his old dirty tricks & gets caught violating Federal law for self interests & more untruths - - it doesn't end. Yikes a portrait for $10,000.0.0   I enjoyed reading the NYT article before any other news & the photo of the woman standing to Trump's left - - 'a picture is worth a thousand words.' So, Trump is going to be in NYC - for the Veteran's Day Parade - Monday - November 11th. After this fraud the Veteran Organization (s) that invited him should withdraw the invitation but I have a sense they won't.

  113. Does this shock anybody? Does it move any of his supporters? At least he told one truth - he could shoot somebody and not lose a voter.

  114. The most amazing part of the story is that it is only a second tier story in the NYT. For any other politician this would have been banner headlines. For Trump it is just one more one more. Will this lead to fraud or campaign finance law indictment?

  115. Readers of this article are going to miss Trump’s purpose in having a “charitable foundation”: tax evasion, and later, tax evasion and campaign finance law evasion. Now that the foundation is an admitted sham, tax evasion charges will follow like morning follows night.

  116. Trump can’t properly manage a nonprofit Foundation. He used it as a personal bank account. He filed bankruptcy four times. Trump University was evidently a fraud. A the list goes on. Why would anyone think he’d be responsible managing America?

  117. This is our president. Here he is in all his great wisdom and stable genius glory, caught stealing money from his own charity that people donated to go to those less fortunate. His charity was all just a planned money making and tax evasion scheme from the start. It was surely one of those things that made him feel like such a clever business man— he fools people, cheats, lies, and pockets extra money for himself along the way. And he can “donate” to his own “charity” (which he did) and deduct it on his taxes and still simply use the money on himself. So much winning for Donald J. Trump! Now that he has been officially caught and reprimanded he whines about how unfair everyone is to him. This sorry excuse of a man is our president.

  118. what type of low life scams people for donations to help veterans then uses it to payoff his debt? oh, right. the president.

  119. Why does Trump always get off easy. The settlement reached in the scam Trump university case didn’t come near to how much money he got from the people he scammed

  120. Why is this not the lead story? It says everything there is to be said about the kind of people Donald Trump and his family are. They are in it for themselves 100%.

  121. I don’t understand, how is Trump’s charity scam not an impeachable crime? Or arguably make that three crimes: 1) violation of campaign finance laws; 2) tax fraud; 3) wire fraud. This reawakens a similar question, where did all that money donated to his inaugural committee go? Finally, it’s probably futile but nonetheless worthwhile to state my belief that scamming a charity like Trump did is indefensibly sleazy. What kind of a person plots and carries out charity scam? Ick. I need to go wash now.

  122. Pretty sure that if I did this, I would be sent to prison. Why isn’t trump?

  123. After being directed to disperse the Trump Foundation funds to several charitable organizations, trump's lawyer characterized the action: the 'Trump Foundation is proud to make this additional contribution.' trump's indescribably miserly scam is thus pr'd into altruism. What an obnoxious family.

  124. Well, now we know Trump definitely considers his royal personage a charitable cause, but, really, here we go again. Trump has personally faced over 3,500 lawsuits. He has now settled over 100 of them, paying out literally over a hundred million dollars and gotten off scot free -- which, by the way, he pays with borrowed money, so what does he care!? He doesn't. Many of these settlements are outright criminal fraud and even assault that would have gotten even a moderately wealthy man put in jail. I am so sick of these super-rich perverts and scofflaws escaping justice in this way. He needs to go to jail, like any common criminal, not get off with yet another settlement that just makes lawyers wealthy and does very little for the victims.

  125. As a reminder, Trump doesn't pay his bills. Hold him in contempt (he is quite contemptible)

  126. The heartbreaking face of the woman in the center holding the check says it all. She must have known this whole display of charity was just a hoax, but was somehow forced to play along with this sham. That is the face of pain and misery.

  127. Unsurprising. But we all should be aware that his base does not care. Or more likely they will not believe it. I am a librarian in rural Virginia. Literally an hour after this news came out yesterday, a man came in to request a 2009 book called "Obama, Culture of Corruption, his Team of Crooks and Cronies".

  128. He should have been fined $10m and required to issue a public apology to those who contributed to the veterans' charity and to veterans. This baloney about how glad he is to "donate" now is beyond the pale. He is not donating, he is paying a (far too small) fine.

  129. He’ll appeal this all the way to the Supreme Court if he could because his charity is “prefect” just like Trump University.

  130. Trump's "charity gave his campaign complete control over disbursing the $2.8 million that the foundation had raised at a fund-raiser for veterans in Iowa in January 2016, only days before the state’s presidential nominating caucuses. The fund-raiser, he acknowledged, was in fact a campaign event" Trump diverted the money raised for Veterans to his own political campaign instead? Is there a more disgusting excuse for a human being on this planet? Impeach. Convict. Lock him up.

  131. Unfortunately, I read the long, depraved lies Trump wrote yesterday about the NY AG concerning this settlement that he proudly posted on twitter. He turned himself into a victim and roused the Red Hats in his base. If Letitia James did not have a standard provision in the settlement agreement voiding the settlement if he tweets or says anything publicly about the case that it not approved, then she needs to do that for all other cases. I have little doubt we will see tax, bank and insurance fraud suits against the Con Man in Chief.

  132. ...“a shocking pattern of illegality” Does that mean we can look forward to criminal charges being filed? Against anyone? Ever? Please NYAG, please say yes.

  133. Sooner or later he’ll spin this as an “incredible” donation of $2,000,000.

  134. @Bronx Jon . And tax-deductible too

  135. His enablers are happy to support him, to buy him whatever he wants.

  136. "Misuse of Foundation"? Give me a break, it was just outright flagrant theft. Criminal conduct.

  137. The punishment is laudable; its terms, laughable. Anyone who thinks any member of this deplorable group of criminals will undergo any kind of “training” hasn’t been paying much attention to the fact that every member of the Trump family refuses to acknowledge that rules, particularly rules of law, apply to them. Sadly, it’s gotten to the point that the Trump lawyers can’t be trusted either. Nice show by the judge though.

  138. Since Mr Trump and the Foundation have publicly disavowed the settlement agreement, I don’t understand why the court doesn’t void the settlement and start over. Mr Trump seems, as usual, to mock and delegitimize our judicial system while using it to his advantage. Shame on Mr Trump and shame on the judges and lawyers that allow this mockery of America.

  139. This guy is kicking off the NY Veterans’ Day Parade? After 1) Stealing foundation funds meant for veterans 2) Trying to raid the military budget, endangering troop safety, to build his wall 3) Saying US troops “ Don’t fight to win” 4) Insulting a Gold Star family 5) Gaining five suspicious deferments for “ Bone spurs” 6) Betraying the Kurds and once again helping Russia with a US troop pullout in Syria. I will be there, booing him, as per my patriotic duty.

  140. As a veteran, I am appalled that (1) This actually happened, and (2) It is not getting more attention. Truly ashamed of who we have put in the White House.

  141. Even when he is robbing vets and those who would support them, trump minions insist this is a politically motivated attack. We have fallen too low ever to recover

  142. Yet another instance of Trump's neverending corruption that would sink any other president or presidential candidate in any other era. But we live in the Era of Trump, a Bizarro world where up is down, "alternative" facts reign and truth isn't truth. This latest story will of course lose its significance in an hour or two when the next Trump outrage is revealed. Then again, are any of these outrages anymore since everything the criminal traitor does is so normalized? I guess we'll find out in 2020.

  143. So the Trump kids were involved too. If someone steals 100$ from a convenience store they go to jail. The Trumps steal millions and they pay a fine.

  144. "Misused the money??" Really?? And an eventual fine for less than was misused? I would have thought felony fraud, embezzlement or outright theft would have been more accurate depending on the evidence which was clearly in plain sight. Although it also included election finance violations but they can be passed over because there are no teeth in the FEC or their penalties. Essentially, he could fleece an old man of his savings, be fined less money than he used the money to buy cars for himself and then pay back less than he stole but he could keep the cars. And clearly after Trump University, he could have already proven this is a common pattern of this character. So if you steal big enough and publicly enough you get a slap on the wrist. Got it!

  145. Hey, what about the Clinton Foundation? Trump may be corrupt, but what about (fill in the blank). Except,...the other foundations have not been found guilty of any mishandling of funds. In this one Trump is all alone, the "winner."

  146. Sorry, I misread- this was sarcasm. We agree, thanks.

  147. Never has there ever before been a more appropriate case for treble damages … plus punitive damages equal to the emotional damages trump has caused the citizens of the world … and reputational damages, in staggering amounts to be precisely determined, and paid to the U.S. Treasury (provided Mnuchin's hands be tied), for the utter disgrace of our country that trump has wrought.

  148. It's unfortunate that as part of the settlement that the entire Trump family wasn't subject to a gag order. Trump has his Twitter bully pulpit as do his offspring to lie about the settlement and what it means. They'll be all over conservative media outlets talking about how they've been persecuted by the Democrats in the NY AG's office. The NY AG isn't going to engage in a point/counterpoint with the Trumps and Trump voters will not take the time to read the settlement with is quite clear about The Trumps' fraudulent behavior. The fraud involving the Siouxlands Soldiers, like the fraud Calif. congressman Duncan Hunter perpetrated against the Wounded Warriors project, leaves me shaking my head as to why Trump voters, especially members of the military, think that all Republicans are on their side.

  149. That's not a huge investment for the returns he got from it. You know, helping buy a US Presidency and the personal brand exposure he values so much. Just a $2mil marketing cost that he gambled he might never have to pay for

  150. The President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief, caught stealing funds that he specifically, with photo-op, raised for our Veteran's. I can't wait to hear the GOP defense of this one.

  151. Wait a minute - the fine is coming from FOUNDATION FUNDS. How does that punish Mr. Trump? it's another sleazy win for him.

  152. It's a badge of honor for him.

  153. Trump raised money for veterans then used the funds to benefit himself. He dodged the draft citing debilitating bone spurs that subsequently vanished after the war ended. He attacked a gold star family in 2016 whose son paid the ultimate price defending our country. He repeatedly attacked an American war hero John McCain. Now he is attacking an active duty army officer and recipient of the Purple Heart Alexander Vindman. Yet on Monday many of those who attend the Veterans Day gatherings across our country will proudly wear their red MAGA hats. Utterly baffling.

  154. And a big thank you to the then acting NY State Attorney General, Barbara Underwood, for her efforts in this matter by bringing the Grifter - in -Chief to pay his fair share of taxes. His "small technical violations" are just the beginning of what awaits Trump when he is out of the White House. No wonder he moved his residence - for tax purposes- from New York State to Florida. There is no statute of limitations for NY State tax fraud prosecution.

  155. Why is this not jail time-worthy behavior?

  156. This is how trump supports America’s veterans? He lies constantly in stating he’s done more for the military than any other president. Then he and his fellow republicans dare to besmirch the honorable reputations of Lt Col Vindman, Sen McCain, Gen Mattis et al. Vote 2020 to make trump gone, bone spurs and alL.

  157. DJT will not acknowledge his wrongdoing in violation of the nonprofit laws until he is indicted and charged for it. He has a criminal mindset. Would anyone else get away with this blatant conduct?

  158. His ethically challenged spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, will offer the official counter narrative. And the reaction from his cult will be their usual deny, defend and dismiss. However, this particularly immoral example of his MO of self-serving flouting of the norms of law, decency and respect should stand as proof that, indeed, Trump actually can "shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and would not lose a vote."

  159. Trump admits to “misconduct.” Isn’t that a sanitized characterization of his malfeasance. Basically, he acknowledges he took money from others under false pretenses (fraud.) And, admits that he, in effect, embezzled it for his own personal and political purposes. We should describe his corrupt conduct in familiar criminal charge terms. The quid pro quo was bribery or extortion. Just maybe if more easily understood criminal terms were used instead of “abuse of power,” which is correct but sounds more like a partisan claim, the number of Americans calling for impeachment would exponentially grow.

  160. The self professed billionaire has to admit he literally stole from the collection plate. There is nothing else to be said.

  161. This is the tip of the iceberg.

  162. When Pres. Trump agrees to a fact to get a something from the court and then publicly denies the fact, isn't he in contempt of court? Jail time? Or maybe he could be sentenced to community service. You know, like ensuring that the laws be faithfully executed.

  163. While it's good that the Trumps got slapped down on their scam, why didn't anyone face any jail time? I am certain that if some street conman pulled the same stunt he'd be behind bars for a while. Why does Don the Con get off with just a fine? The best news is that he admitted wrongdoing. Now we just need to run ads on Fox News pulling quotes out of the court documents. His cult goes marching on.

  164. When charities are founded to benefit white collar criminals , people lose faith in charitable donation only to find out their hard earned money is going to the pockets of CEOs or others involved in the administration of the foundation.

  165. Recap: Trump took the money people gave to veterans through this charity and used it to promote himself. Forget everything else Trumpian for a second. Trump should be polling at zero percent. Mind-blowing.

  166. Money for veterans spent instead on a portrait of a heel-spurred self absorbed draft dodging self-promoter in chief. If veterans and their families want a better America they need tap into the courage they showed in serving their country and make an example of Mr. Trump by dumping him at the curb. Failure to do so tarnishes their sacrifices and those of their comrades who deserve the greater America Trump can never deliver.

  167. who is going to watch to make sure he doesn't pay these fines or recompense himself from his huge campaign collections.?

  168. 1. Wouldn't this level of fraud, misrepresentation and financial dishonesty put most normal people in jail, or at least white collar club Fed ? 2. Who is the charity the 2 million will go to ? I'd be a lot happier if the Court, not the Sewer, dictate where that money goes. 3. Who has to do the collection work when that money is not paid, for "reasons".....

  169. The more one reviews the daily evidence of don trump's malfeasance, immorality, and intellectual sloth, his ascendance to our country's presidency simply tells us we are a country in deep confusion on assessing the virtue of political leaders. Though in trump's case, there really is no excuse. We have known from the very beginning the low ethical and intellectual quality he possessed.

  170. I’m confused. The court referred to illegality, Trump admitted to fraud. Why is this not a criminal process?

  171. I'm cutting to the chase here: the man is evil personified. By now, we all know his modus operandi and we simply can't turn away. His every action is self-promotion and seeking self-enrichment at taxpayer's expense. Need we really say more? The Trump Removal roulette wheel keeps spinning. Will it be impeachment, the 25th Amendment, voter turnout in Nov. 2020, or age and attrition that relieves us of him?

  172. The Judge should have cited the fact that Mr. Trump's lone act of charity and compassion on record as President has been to throw paper towels at Puerto Rican storm victims.

  173. What an extraordinary man our president is. Never in the history of our great nation has a man of his character risen so high, done so much, and never faced a criminal charge.

  174. Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump were court-ordered to undergo training on how not to defraud charities? Priceless! Some enterprising producer needs to turn that into a reality TV show.

  175. @Anthony : I hope the producers of Saturday Night Live are reading the paper this morning for a terrific skit on this tomorrow night! I could almost write it myself!

  176. Apparently he abused donor money raised for his own foundation in the same way he abuses taxpayer money raised for our nation. If he can buy a portrait of himself think of the glory he would feel in seeing the President Donald J. Trump Great America Wall. Perhaps points of entry through the wall could be called the Ivanka Trump Gate, the Eric Trump Gate...well, you get the picture (and the bill).

  177. Will the judge sanction Trump for releasing a statement last night that contradicted everything he agreed to in the consent order?

  178. I can't believe NY State let him off so easy with blatant admission that they broke the law. If they didn't want to throw Trump in jail, what about the others namely the children?

  179. I wish everyone would stop referring to the Trump foundation as a “charity.” It wasn’t. It was a business entity set up for use as a family slush fund to avoid paying income taxes for the Trump family grifters. A two million dollar settlement is laughable. The family is basically finally contributing what they FALSELY claimed they paid in the past. And they’ll get a tax deduction! No damages. No penalties. In another year they’ll start all over again with the Trump Family Legal Fee Foundation that’ll hopefully be run from the slammer.

  180. Meanwhile, the costs of keeping this child president costs the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars which are in no way audited nor controlled. Why is it that some cruel portion of our United States enjoys seeing the dogs who are down kept down? We won't stop fighting to prevent our deaths until the inevitable happens as it will to all.

  181. Grifters gonna grift.

  182. "after the president admitted misusing money raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation to promote his presidential bid, pay off business debts" Trump committed crimes of tax fraud and a campaign violation. Both should be added to the articles of impeachment in the house. As the trials and conviction are already matters of public record, no further hearings are required that might slow impeachment on all the articles. Why am I not reading about the discussion of articles of impeachment including the abuse of power in reallocating funds for the the wall and selling arms in the Middle East nor some of the items in the Mueller report that Mueller specifically referred to Congress to handle?

  183. I think he got off easy. How do you quantify the erosion of trust from the public, not only in his foundation but the reputation of countless others?

  184. Veterans should see this as a sign he uses them as nothing but a prop.

  185. Any other president would have faced demands to resign. Why do 60% of us continue to accept this white-collar criminal and would-be mob boss as our leader? And this misuse of his so-called charitable foundation isn't the only issue on the resignation table. There is the impeachment inquiry. The anonymous warning book about to come out. There is the Mueller Report. And with all of these warning signals right in front of us, Americans and the media gawk and watch as each day brings new destruction to our country.

  186. It just goes on and on and on.

  187. And yet, despite this and the many, many other revelations about the slimy, grifting actions of Trump, Republicans and the millions of MAGA lemmings line up in lockstep behind him. Why anyone would follow this man is a mystery.

  188. Well, it’s a lot less than he had to pay to make the lawsuits over his fraudulent “university” go away.

  189. Why is this just a civil lawsuit? Isn't fraud a crime anymore or is the Trump crime family exempt?