New York Judge Saliann Scarpulla has ordered the United States President Donald Trump to pay $2 million for misusing funds and taking charity money to finance his 2016 political campaign. The judge ruled that the charities that President Trump or his children head cannot be engaged in politics. The ruling settled a lawsuit filed against the US President back in 2018 wherein the Donald J. Trump Foundation was alleged to continuously engage in illegal conduct.
The judge has also signed off on another agreement to close the Trump Foundation and distribute about $1.7 million in remaining funds to other nonprofits. According to the ruling, Trumps's fine and the charity's funds will be split evenly among eight organisations, including Citymeals on Wheels, the United Negro College Fund, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. President Trump reportedly admitted to arranging for the charity to pay $10,000 for a six-foot portrait of him. He further also agreed to pay back $11,525 in foundation funds that he spent on sports memorabilia and champagne at the charity gala. He also accepted restrictions on his involvement in other charitable organisations.
Attorney General Letitia James welcomed the resolution of the case as a “major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain.”
“No one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the President of the United States,” said James, a Democrat.
In a recent ruling, President Donald Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA was also ordered to hand over eight years of his tax returns to New York prosecutors as ordered by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. A three-judge panel of the New York-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that prosecutors have the right to enforce a subpoena against the accounting firm. Vance is seeking the returns as part of a criminal investigation into Trump and his family's real estate business.
(With AP inputs)