New York Attorney General’s office on Monday ordered Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s foundation to cease fundraising immediately after a report revealing that the charity is not properly authorised to seek public donations.
“The Attorney General’s office is the sole regulator of charities in New York State, and when evidence of clear misconduct is brought to our attention, we take action,” Xinhua news agency quoted Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as saying.
On Monday, the Trump campaign released a statement questioning the “political motives” behind the investigation into the foundation as Schneiderman is a Democrat.
The Trump Foundation never registered under article 7A of New York’s Executive Law as is required for any charity asking for more than 25,000 dollars per year from the public. This means Trump’s foundation has avoided any of the outside audits New York law requires of larger charities.
Trump was fined for using his foundation to donate 25,000 dollars to a political organisation for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and reporting in its public forms that the money was for a similarly named charity instead. Non-profits are not allowed to make political contributions in New York state.
The donation took place in 2013 when Bondi’s office was considering whether to open a probe into fraud allegations against Trump University. Bondi’s office did not open an investigation afterwards. Bondi and Trump have both denied the contribution was connected to the case.