NY AG: Trump can’t dissolve foundation until investigation over


A spokesperson for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Saturday that President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation cannot cease operations until an investigation into the organization is complete.

Trump announced earlier Saturday that he would dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation amid mounting scrutiny over potential conflicts of interests with his business holdings.

The foundation has been the subject of an investigation by the New York attorney general’s office following reports from The Washington Post that the charity’s funds may have been used to personally benefit Trump.


“The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, said in a statement to The Hill.

Trump’s transition team did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

Spitalnick first gave the statement on Twitter in response to a question from the Post.

Over the course of the campaign, the newspaper revealed that Trump had not given the charity any of his own money in a number of years and that he used its funds to buy portraits of himself and other memorabilia.

The foundation was also fined by the IRS for making a political donation of $25,000 in support of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi — a violation of rules governing the use of charity funds. Bondi later declined to pursue an investigation into the now-defunct Trump University and is also now serving on the Trump transition’s executive committee.

In a statement Saturday, Trump said that he was dissolving the charity to avoid the appearance of having a conflict of interest, though he has previously said that he would be legally immune from such conflicts as president.

“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. “However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways.” 

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