Clinton allies to IRS: Probe Trump Foundation
© Greg Nash

A watchdog group with ties to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonColorado governor teases possible presidential run Mueller asks judge for September sentencing for Papadopoulos House Judiciary Committee subpoenas FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts MORE wants the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP lawmakers preparing to vote on bill allowing migrant children to be detained longer than 20 days: report Wasserman Schultz: Infants separated from their parents are in Florida immigrant shelters Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics laws MORE’s personal foundation, according to a new report.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is accusing Trump’s organization of unfairly helping his presidential bid, The Washington Post said Monday.

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“The Trump Foundation appears to have violated this prohibition by participating in Mr. Trump’s campaign,” Noah Bookbinder, the group’s executive director, told the IRS in a letter.

The Post noted the group's ties to longtime Clinton ally David Brock.

CREW's complaint says Trump’s Donald J. Trump Foundation violated IRS rules governing nonprofits last January, when the candidate skipped a GOP presidential primary debate and instead hosted a televised fundraiser for military veterans.

Trump raised about $4.5 million during the event, the Post said, with about $2 million passing through the Trump Foundation.

CREW says Trump then unfairly distributed checks bearing the foundation's name and his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“[Nonprofits are] absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign,” the complaint says.

“In the context of a campaign rally designed to advocate for Mr. Trump’s nomination ... the use of the slogan [by the Trump Foundation] can have no reasonable meaning other than to urge his election.”

The Post said Trump handed out the checks in question to local veterans’ charities during events in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Trump initially founded his personal foundation in the 1980s, it said, to give away profits from his book “The Art of the Deal.”

Trump remains the charity’s president, it added, but has not donated to his namesake organization since 2008.

The Post report added the IRS could strip the Trump Foundation’s tax-exempt status if found to have violated the rules.

Experts told the newspaper that move is unlikely, however, and any IRS probe would likely take place after the foundation files its 2016 tax returns.

Such an investigation would occur after Trump faces Clinton in this November’s presidential election.

House Republicans late last month also pressed the IRS to scrutinize the Clinton Foundation for potential tax violations.

A letter sent to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen alleges the foundation’s initial application to the IRS in 1997 does not mention it would conduct activities outside the U.S.

“As a result, the foundation’s global initiatives appear to be unlawful pursuant to IRS guidance,” the letter states.

Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin said in July the accusations are a “baseless political attack."