US President Donald Trump was ordered to pay $2 million (€1.8 million) to several charities after he misused his own charity foundation to further business and political interests.
Trump used money donated by veterans to the now-dissolved Donald J. Trump Foundation to further his 2016 election campaign, found the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, on Thursday.
BREAKING: We’ve secured a court order forcing President Trump to pay $2M in damages after admitting to illegally using the Trump Foundation to help him intervene in the 2016 presidential election and further his own political interests.
No one is above the law.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) 7 November 2019
During the run-up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Trump allowed his presidential campaign staff to coordinate with his charity in holding a fundraiser for veterans.
He used $10,000 of the money raised to pay for a 1.8 meter-tall painting of himself, among other things.
The ruling came at the end of a 21-month probe by the New York attorney general’s office.
Trump’s children must attend charity training course
In addition to the fine, three of Trump’s children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka were ordered to attend mandatory training on the duties of charity officials.
Trump will also be restricted on any further charitable activities.
The $2 million fine will be paid to 8 different charities including Citymeals on Wheels, the United Negro College Fund and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Trump reacts to the ruling
The current New York attorney general, Letitia James, called the ruling by the court “a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain.”
STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP pic.twitter.com/EktztHfLk6
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 8 November 2019
President Trump responded to the ruling in a tweet, saying the foundation was an “incredibly effective philanthropy” that had made “some small technical violations.”
He also criticised James of “deliberately mischaracterising this settlement for political purposes.”