Trump Foundation shutting down to avoid conflicts of interest


As NBC News reported, "The move fulfills a promise Trump made last December, when he said he would wind down the Donald J. Trump Foundation to avoid conflicts of interest".

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered the foundation to stop soliciting contributions in October 2016, and Trump later announced that he meant to dissolve the foundation in order to avoid conflicts of interest, NBC News reported at the time.

In October 2016, Schneiderman's office ordered the Trump Foundation to cease any further fundraising in NY, stating that the charity was not registered to solicit donations within the state.

Like most things Trump, however, there is a hitch.

Not only did the "charitable" foundation not do a whole lot of charity work, but Trump frequently used it to enrich himself, his family members, and his businesses. In September 2016, NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced an investigation into the foundation "to make sure it's complying with the laws governing charities in NY".

The donations arrived during a year when New York's attorney general opened an investigation into the foundation's finances.

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"The Foundation looks forward to distributing its remaining assets at the earliest possible time to aid numerous worthy charitable organizations", the statement adds.

"As the foundation is still under investigation by this office, it can not legally dissolve until that investigation is complete", Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, said Monday.

The latest filing obtained by the Post "definitely reflects an effort to get the house in order, so to speak, before shutting down", former IRS official Marcus Owens told the newspaper. This came after the Post had uncovered several instances in which the Trump Foundation seemed to pay legal settlements for his for-profit businesses and for items that his family purchased at charity auctions.

The foundation was under scrutiny for allegedly misusing its funds, to include settling lawsuits.

"Our investigation into the Donald J. Trump Foundation remains ongoing", Spitalnick said in an email. "However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President I have chose to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways".