Judge orders Trump to pay $2M to settle charity lawsuit


A NY state judge ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to a collection of nonprofit organizations in connection with a settlement with the NY state attorney general's office to resolve a civil lawsuit alleging the foundation unlawfully coordinated with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

As part of the settlement, Trump also agreed to disburse the US$1.8 million remaining in the foundation to a set of charities, and to shutter it for good.

"Now that this matter is concluded, the Trump Foundation is proud to make this additional contribution", Futerfas said.

The settlement brings an end to the lawsuit the NY attorney general's office filed against the Trump Foundation, claiming the president and his children repeatedly used the charity's funds to break campaign finance laws, abused its tax-exempt status, and engaged in a pattern of "illegal conduct".

The judge also signed off on agreements reached last month between Trump's lawyers and the NY attorney general's office to distribute about $1.7 million in remaining foundation funds to other nonprofits. The lawsuit sought to recoup $2.82 million donated to the foundation in a 2016 Iowa fundraiser for military veterans, but which Underwood said Trump allowed his campaign to control.

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The Trump Foundation said after the ruling Thursday that money raised by the penalty will go to several charities, including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the United Negro College Fund. "Further, because the parties have agreed to dissolve the Foundation, I direct Mr. Trump to pay the $2,000,000, which would have gone to the Foundation if it were still in existence, on a pro rata basis to the Approved Recipients", the judge wrote.

Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the state Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled in favor of the state attorney general Letitia James, a Democrat, who pursued the investigation begun by her predecessor into whether the foundation channeled money into Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Scarpulla denied the attorney general's request to award punitive damages in the case. Along with the foundation and Trump, the suit named his children Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka Trump.

In addition, the foundation paid $158,000 to resolve a lawsuit over a prize for a hole-in-one contest at a Trump-owned golf course, and $5,000 for ads promoting Trump's hotels in the programs for charitable events.

"Today's settlement of the suit brought by the New York Attorney General's Office is a fitting and poetic end to this scandal", CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.