Donald Trump on Tuesday paid $2 million in damages as part of a settlement over use of his former charity to further his political and business interests — the latest item on the US president’s list of legal woes.
Trump had been accused of using foundation funds to settle lawsuits, promote his Trump-branded hotels, and for personal spending, including the purchase of a portrait of himself to display at one of his golf clubs.
The $2 million was paid equally to eight different charities, including the Children’s Aid Society, the United Negro College Fund and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat.
“Charities are not a means to an end, which is why these damages speak to the president’s abuse of power and represent a victory for not-for-profits that follow the law,” she said in the statement.
The payments were made the same day that Democrats in Congress unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump, a momentous step asserting that he abused his office and deserved to be removed.
James filed the lawsuit against the Trump Foundation in June last year, accusing it of “persistently illegal conduct” that included improper coordination between the charity and his campaign team during his 2016 White House bid.
Trump agreed to shut down his personal charity in 2018, but the suit moved ahead regardless, as prosecutors sought millions of dollars in restitution and penalties.
The suit also said that in early 2016 while Trump was running for president, he organized what was billed as a Trump Foundation fundraiser but was actually a campaign event.
Trump had pushed back against the lawsuit, defending his organization’s work and lauding its financial responsibility.
“It has been 4 years of politically motivated harassment,” he said in a statement after the court ruling. “All they found was incredibly effective philanthropy and some small technical violations, such as not keeping board minutes.”
Trump faces ongoing legal troubles on multiple fronts. Courts have ordered that two banks must hand over to Congress documents related to the president’s finances, and he is fighting an attempt by a New York prosecutor to compel the release of eight years’ worth of tax returns, among other battles.
Expert: Trump in a ‘dangerous’ battle with Bloomberg to win Texas for Biden
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg this week revealed that he's making a major last-minute ad blitz aimed at winning both Texas and Ohio for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
According to the New York Times, Bloomberg's Independence USA super PAC is "directing millions toward television advertising" in the two states in the hopes of swaying undecided voters into backing Biden instead of President Donald Trump.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe can’t wait for Democrats to throw McConnell’s words back in his face
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave Democrats every justification to expand the Supreme Court.
The "Morning Joe" host -- an ex-Republican -- said Democrats should throw McConnell's words back in his face to make the case for expanding the court if they retake the majority, after Republicans brazenly violated their own precedent to ram through Amy Coney Barrett.
"I love watching stuff like this," Scarborough said. "This is, like, do I need some popcorn? No, I'll tell you why. Every word that Mitch McConnell -- every single word -- and if Democrats have half a brain, and if they're not wimps, they will actually lift that speech word for word and use it when they expand the court to 11 or 12 justices."
Trump ‘is in a state of panic’ as he sees ‘the walls closing in’: MSNBC’s Heilemann
During an MSNBC discussion of the curious choices Donald Trump's campaign is making about his rally locations, "Morning Joe" regular John Heilemann stated the president "is in a panic" and can't think straight --even more than normal -- because he knows he's losing badly.
With only seven days ago, the president has been holding two to three rallies per day, which led "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough to ask Heileman if there is a strategy behind the choices the president is making.
"I think the president's in a state of panic," the MSNBC regular asserted. "I think that's the only real answer and I think you see things like -- you guys pointed to in the last hour when you talk about Trump being up in New Hampshire is good example of that kind of panic."