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Trump Pays $2 Million Fine to Charities to End Trump Foundation Lawsuit

U.S. President Donald Trump , December 4, 2019. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

President Trump has paid a $2 million court-ordered fine to several charities, ending a lawsuit alleging that he used funds from his charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, for political gain.

According to the suit brought by the state of New York, Trump and and his three oldest children violated the charitable foundation’s tax-exempt status by turning it into “little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.”

The Trump family ran the foundation in a way that flouted federal and state campaign finance laws during the 2016 campaign season, including allowing the Trump campaign to organize a fundraising event for the foundation in Des Moines, the lawsuit claimed.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday that Trump has paid the settlement to eight different charities and said the Trump Foundation, shuttered last December, is being dissolved under court supervision.

“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,” the attorney general said.

Last month, a New York judge ordered Trump to pay the $2 million settlement, alleging the Trump Foundation committed “persistent” violations of the laws governing charitable organizations.

As part of the settlement, Trump was required to donate the remainder of the foundation’s funds as well, about $1.8 million, and made to acquiesce to restrictions on any future charitable service. He was also required to reimburse the foundation $11,525 for champagne and “sports paraphernalia” bought at a charity gala and forced to admit his personal wrongdoing in misusing the funds.

The charities receiving the funds are the Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of National Capital Area, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The charities received a total of $476,140.41 each.

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