Court Battles

Judge rejects Trump Foundation request to dismiss lawsuit

A judge in New York has rejected the Trump Foundation’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed in the state alleging that the organization, which was chaired by President Trump and three of his children, was involved in self-dealing and misuse of charity assets.

Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the state’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state’s lawsuit against Trump can go forward after the president’s lawyers argued that he cannot be sued due to his station.

{mosads}Scarpulla wrote in her decision that Trump’s lawyers could offer no evidence of an example where a president was immune to prosecution for actions taken in his unofficial capacity before taking office.

Lawyers for the president had also argued that state courts do not have jurisdiction over the president, an argument that Scarpulla also dismissed.

“In accordance with Clinton V. Jones and Zervos V. Trump, I find that I have jurisdiction over Mr. Trump and deny Respondents’ motion to dismiss the petition against him on jurisdictional grounds,” she wrote, while also denying Trump’s request for discovery in the case.

Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who brought the case, tweeted that the lawsuit detailed how “the Trump Foundation functioned as a personal piggy bank to serve Trump’s business & political interests.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in June, alleges that Trump was involved in “persistent illegality” with his dealings concerning the Trump Foundation, his personal charity organization which was effectively shuttered following his election in 2016.

Trump attacked the lawsuit on Twitter earlier this year upon its filing, calling it an attack from “sleazy” Democrats in the state.

“The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!” he wrote, referring to the state’s previous attorney general.

“Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years,” he added.

Underwood herself commented Friday on Twitter after the judge’s decision, calling the charity foundation “little more than a checkbook” for the president’s business and personal interests.

“The Trump Foundation functioned as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests,” she said. “There are rules that govern private foundations, and we intend to enforce them—no matter who runs the foundation.”

Tags Donald Trump Lawsuit New York self-dealing Trump Foundation

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