Published: November 09, 2019
A judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging he misused his charitable foundation to further his political and business interests.
New York judge Saliann Scarpulla also signed off on an agreement to close the Trump Foundation and distribute about $1.7m in remaining funds to other nonprofit groups.
Scarpulla said Trump had “breached his fiduciary duty” by allowing funds raised for US veterans to be diverted into his campaign for the Iowa primary election in 2016.
She wrote: “I direct Mr Trump to pay the $2m which would have gone to the foundation if it were still in existence.”
Scarpulla decreed the money must be paid by Trump himself and should go to eight charities he has no relationship to.
Trump said the case had been resolved and that he was “happy to donate” $2m to the Army Emergency Relief, Children’s Aid Society, City Meals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, United Negro College Fund, United Way of Capital Area and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Typically, he then tweeted: “I am the only person I know, perhaps the only person in history, who can give major money to charity ($19m), charge no expense and be attacked by the political hacks in New York State.”
Meanwhile, Trump has insisted he has not been damaged by impeachment evidence detailing efforts by him and his administration to pressure Ukraine to publicly investigate his political rivals.
Speaking to reporters as he left on a campaign trip to Atlanta, the president said he was “not concerned about anything” that has been disclosed so far. “It seems that nobody has any first-hand knowledge,” he said, adding: “Every one of those people cancelled themselves out.”
His comments came a day after the release of an impeachment inquiry transcript in which career State Department official George Kent said Trump wanted to hear just three words from the Ukraine president in their July phone call: investigations, Biden, Clinton.
Kent told investigators that was his understanding of what Trump wanted Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy to say to unlock US military aid, as relayed to the official by others, including those in direct contact with the president.
The impeachment process hangs over the president daily.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney refused to testify yesterday, which also saw the release of transcripts of the testimony of Ukraine expert Lt Col Alexander Vindman and security adviser Fiona Hill implicating Mulvaney in the “deal” with the Ukrainian government to investigate the son of possible Trump opponent Joe Biden.
Democrat committee chairs issued a statement saying: “The transcripts released today show clearly that individuals close to the president were alarmed by a presidential scheme as illicit and corrupt as a ‘drug deal.”
In another move that Trump has faced criticism for, the president said he had been invited by Vladimir Putin to the annual May Day parade in Moscow in which Russia, following the tradition established by the USSR, shows off its military might.
Trump said: “It’s a very big deal, celebrating the end of the war. I appreciate the invitation.
“It is right in the middle of political season, so I’ll see if I can do it, but I would love to go if I could.”
Steven Hall, a retired CIA chief of Russian operations, tweeted: “For Putin, this would basically serve as Trump’s approval of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, military actions in Syria and paramilitary work in Libya. All wrapped up in one nice package.” source