New York requires a certification process before any charity can solicit $25,000 or more. Trump’s didn’t do this. Had the foundation registered, however, there likely would have been audits and investigations into the spending and some of the dealings that are now being revealed. They did manage to file the required IRS reports.
The New York Attorney General has opened an investigation into the foundation, but it is unclear if these new findings will be part of the investigation.
The foundation has received over $2.3 million from businesses owing Trump or his company money, however, they were instructed by Trump or his company to pay the foundation instead. The Trump Foundation also solicited small-dollar donations from supporters under the guise that the money would be donated to a veterans charity. The website advertised that the donations totaled $1.67 million.
On two different occasions, the foundation was used to settle legal disputes. In 2007, it dolled out $100,000 for a suit involving Mar-a-Lago Club. Just five years later it paid $158,000 to Martin Greenberg on the same day he settled a lawsuit against Trump’s golf courses. Most recently, Trump’s foundation made a donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s campaign just four days before her office decided not to participate in a lawsuit against Trump University.
The Trump Foundation has also purchased paintings of Trump, one of which is hanging in his hotel property. The campaign claimed that the resort is merely “storing” the painting. Trump also purchased a signed Tim Tebow helmet with the foundation’s money.
While Trump may have initially been the only donor in the 1990s, he began soliciting and scoring major donations in the early 2000s and never filed the appropriate paperwork. According to the law soliciting money means “to directly or indirectly make a request for a contribution, whether express or implied, through any medium.”
Trump admitted earlier this year that he doesn’t know whether or not his foundation has broken the law. When accusing Hillary Clinton and her family’s foundation of impropriety, Trump demanded a special prosecutor be appointed.
When pressed on the issue during an interview, son Eric (Uday) Trump shut it down.