Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Donald Trump used his foundation to pay his own bills—big league fraud

When is a charity just a slush fund? When it’s the Trump Foundation. Donald Trump’s foundation is filled with other people's moneyTrump himself hasn’t tossed in a dime since 2008. 

We already knew that Donald Trump has used his foundation to hide political payments, and to buy himself nice toys. Now David Fahrenthold at The Washington Post is reporting that Trump used foundation money to buy his way out of legal problems.

Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.

Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses

The beneficiary of Donald Trump’s “charitable” organization, again and again, was Donald Trump.

How many times is the media going to accept the idea that Trump “accidentally” took money from his supposed charity for illegal purposes? He’s already paid an IRS penalty for the $25,000 check he cut to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to make the Trump University suit go away, while recording the check as going to a legitimate charity in another state. He’s already been caught buying items donated to charity using foundation bucks and keeping those items for himself. He’s already been caught using foundation money to commission a 6’ portrait of, who else, Donald Trump.

These new findings open Trump to more penalties, and ...

More broadly, these cases also provide new evidence that Trump ran his charity in a way that may have violated U.S. tax law and gone against the moral conventions of philanthropy.

Trump played fast and loose with the law to benefit himself—which is true of more than just his charity.

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