NY attorney general sues Trump Foundation, alleging illegal activity

New York attorney general sues Trump Foundation

New York attorney general sues Trump Foundation

Trump reacted on Thursday by attacking "sleazy New York Democrats" after the state's attorney general sued him and his foundation, and said he would not settle the case.

The Trump Foundation issued a statement criticizing the lawsuit as "politics at its very worst" and accusing the attorney general of holding its $1.7 million in remaining funds "hostage for political gain".

The lawsuit states that the foundation's board existed in name only and failed to provide oversight to the organization for at least the past 19 years: "It has not met since 1999 and does not oversee the activities of the Foundation in any way".

"The prior NYAG, who was recently forced to resign from office in disgrace, made it his stated mission to use this matter to not only advance his own political goals, but also for his own political fundraising", the spokesman added.

Spurning a Republican candidates' debate on January 28, 2016 - four days before the caucuses - Trump instead participated in a televised rally and fundraiser for veterans organizations. At the time, a Bondi spokeswoman told the Orlando Sentinel that, "We are now reviewing the allegations in the NY complaint", but neither Bondi nor her office went further than that. The petition cites emails from then-campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski indicating the foundation had ceded control of its fund to the Trump campaign.

But Trump's foundation cut a $25,000 check in 2013 to Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's re-election campaign, the lawsuit notes.

Nevertheless, as NY attorney general Ms Underwood has significant investigatory and prosecutorial power - and if she starts flushing the bushes of some of Mr Trump's more questionable charitable activities, there's no telling what she might turn up.

Among the charges, the lawsuit claims the directors engaged in "willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump's personal and business interests". Trump presented enlarged copies of checks to veterans groups at campaign events.

Trump is facing possible allegations of obstruction of justice from Russian Federation collusion investigator Robert Mueller, and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is also under investigation in NY for issues that could relate both to Trump's businesses and to the Russian Federation probe.

The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

Trump quickly took to Twitter after the lawsuit was filed.

During the investigation, a NY state investigator asked Trump Organization employee Allen Weisselberg if he knew that he was treasurer of the Trump Foundation. The extensive suit filed today suggests the investigation was well underway when Underwood took over.