New information suggests that Donald Trump may have used his charity foundation to settle lawsuits that benefited his for-profit businesses. The accusations being levied against the Republican presidential nominee fall under a term called “self-dealing,” which is against the law.
According to The Washington Post, Trump may have self-dealed over $258,000 from the Donald J. Trump Foundation to settle the following two lawsuits:
- In 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Largo Club owed $120,000 in unpaid fines to the town of Palm Beach, Florida. The town agreed to waive the fines if Trump donated $100,000 to a veterans charity. The money came from the foundation.
- In 2010, a golfer sued Trump’s Westchester County, New York golf courseand settled with the club for a $158,000 donation to the man’s own
There have been other instances of questionable use of the Trump Foundation’s money. Trump donated $25,000 of the foundation’s money to a Super PAC connected to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was considering a fraud investigation into Trump University. Trump and his foundation have been under fire for other questionable uses of the charity’s money.
Interestingly enough, Bondi’s investigation never happened and the Florida Attorney General denies any wrongdoing.
Trump and his campaign have come out against The Washington Post to claim the accusations are false, but Roland Martin pointed out on NewsOne Now that the self-proclaimed billionaire never actually denied anything.
Eugene Craig, III, the Vice Chair of the Maryland Republican Party, said, “It’s typical Trump fashion.”
He described Trump’s thought process: “‘I do what I do and I accuse you of doing what I did to deflect the problem, and then when I make my accusation of you, I totally deflect and don’t give any specifics while I’m not denying what you accuse me of doing.’”
Dr. Wilmer Leon, host of SiriusXM’s Inside The Issues, said Trump’s response to The Washington Post article must have been written by campaign manager Kellyanne Conway because “she is the best at flipping the script.”
Rosemary Fei, a charity law expert from Adler and Colvin, weighed in on Trump’s use of foundation funds. Fei said, “Based on the information that’s been made available … it seems like there’s quite a bit of self-dealing transactions.”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss The Washington Post’s allegations that Trump used foundation funds to settle legal disputes in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty