After the President made 19 admissions of misusing his charitable foundation and its funds, he was ordered to pay $2 million to eight charities.
United States President Donald Trump just can't seem to catch a break — and for good reason. A settlement announced last month ordered the failed business mogul turned US President to donate $2 million to charity as a punishment for misusing the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its funds in order to bolster his Presidential campaign in 2016. In addition to this, he also used the funds from the charity in order to pay off his business debts, an even more egregious crime, The New York Times reports. But does the punishment fit the crime? Not many believe it is.
The management of the foundation's funds first came under scrutiny during the initial stages of Trump's whirlwind Presidential campaign and last year, the New York attorney general finally decided to file a lawsuit accusing him and the rest of the Trump of using the foundation as a moneymaking extension of their businesses as well as the campaign. Ultimately, the guilty President admitted to his crimes, confirming in court documents that he had in fact utilized the foundation so as to settle the several legal responsibilities of his businesses and, shockingly enough (read: sarcasm), even to purchase a portrait of himself.
They payments concluded a "drawn-out legal battle." Letitia James, the New York attorney general, affirmed in a statement, "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. Funds have finally gone where they deserve — to eight credible charities." The punishment was doled out by a state judge, who ordered Trump to pay $2 million to eight different charities. That is $250,000 per charity. The eight charities the money went to include 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 the National Capital Area, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Because the settlement also ordered the liquidation of the Trump Foundation’s remaining assets of more than $1.7 million and the subsequent dispersion of these funds to the same nonprofits, each charity received a total of $476,140.01. Down to the last penny. As one would expect, the settlement is bad press for Trump, who hopes to win an increasingly different Presidential election in the year 2020. Trump, who originally dismissed the lawsuit as a "political attack," made 19 detailed admissions acknowledging the various ways that he and the Trumps had utilized the foundation and its funds for their own selfish ends. Hopefully, this will help at least some Trump supporters reconsider their 2020 vote.