Investigation of Trump family charity reveals potential violations

A claim made by Forbes says President Trump’s charity foundation took $100,000 of donations and funneled them through the Eric Trump Foundation to financially benefit the Trump Organization.

For 10 years, Eric Trump hosted an annual golf tournament at Trump-owned golf courses, benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Research. The Eric Trump Foundation used the tournament to raise more than $11 million for St. Jude’s hospitals.

The Forbes report alleges that $100,000 worth of donations was used to cover expenses incurred by the venues during the tournaments. Creating additional concern, the report indicates that it was President Trump that made the request for the Trump Organization to bill the Eric Trump Foundation for the expenses. Reportedly, donors were told their entire contribution would be used for charity.

According to Forbes:

“The Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.”

The report also alleges that during the 10 years it ran, over $500,000 in donations was “re-donated” to other charities. Some of the charities had connections to members of the Trump family, and four of those organizations used Trump golf courses for their own tournaments.

If true, violations to both New York state law and federal law on self-dealing and misleading donors may have occurred.

The Trump Foundation is currently under investigation by the New York attorney general’s office. When President Trump announced in December that he would dissolve the foundation to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, he was told it could not be dissolved until the criminal probe of the charity was completed.

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