Trump loses bid to dismiss New York lawsuit over his charity
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (C) stands surrounded by his son Eric Trump (L) daughter Ivanka and son Donald Jr. (R) ahead of a press conference in Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A New York state judge has rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s request to dismiss a lawsuit in which New York’s attorney general accused him of misusing his personal charity to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign and his businesses.

In a decision made public on Friday, Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the state supreme court in Manhattan said Attorney General Barbara Underwood could pursue claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty, improper self-dealing, and misuse of assets of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Trump’s adult children Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka are also defendants in the case, which began on June 14. Ivanka Trump is also a senior aide to her father.

The White House was not immediately available for comment. Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for the defendants, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Underwood said she welcomed Scarpulla’s decision.

“The Trump Foundation functioned as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests,” Underwood said in a statement. “There are rules that govern private foundations - and we intend to enforce them.”

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish