New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has opened a general inquiry into the Trump Foundation to address whether or not the Foundation has made accurate disclosures and whether or not it has followed state law.
According to ABC News, the inquiry addresses a multitude of questionable financial decisions made by the foundation, including moldy bag of herring Donald Trump’s purchase of a portrait of himself and more importantly, donations made to a group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, whose office was investigating Trump University for fraud. These donations in particular are curious because Bondi’s office declined to join the lawsuit against Trump University that alleges Trump scammed $40 million from students hoping to gain hot real estate tips and floated about $5 million of that to himself.
Schneiderman’s office sent a letter to the Trump Foundation in June, inquiring about at $25,000 donation made to And Justice For All, a political organization affiliated with Bondi. Over a month later, in July, the foundation responded to the inquiry saying that the donation was “mistakenly made from the Foundation” and was actually supposed to come from Trump’s pocket. They claimed ignorance about the nature of And Justice For All, mistaking it for a charity instead of a political organization that had rallied support behind a supporter of Donald Trump.
This is where it gets shifty. From ABC News:
Schneiderman announced his lawsuit against Trump University on Aug. 25, 2013. The next month, Bondi’s office announced that it was reviewing the litigation. But shortly after that announcement, And Justice for All received the contribution.
Bondi’s office decided not to go forward with the complaint.
“I never, nor was my office, investigating him. Never. I would never lie. I would never take money. I’ve been obviously devastated over this,” she said in a voice mail message to a Tampa Bay Times reporter this past June.
While this is a large and fairly obvious transgression, there are other smaller, more comical ones that point clearly to the Trump Foundation dealing in some shady shit. The Washington Post has stayed on the trail of the Trump Foundation’s mysterious spending patterns and unearthed some gems in the process, including this tidbit about Trump using $12,000 of his foundation’s money to win a bid on a Tim Tebow-signed football helmet at a charity event.
Naturally, the Trump camp has made a statement. From BuzzFeed News:
“Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is a partisan hack who has turned a blind eye to the Clinton Foundation for years and has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. This is nothing more than another left-wing hit job designed to distract from Crooked Hillary Clinton’s disastrous week.”
In other Trump-adjacent news, one of his supporters punched a 69-year old woman in the face outside a rally in Asheville, NC Monday night – another distraction to draw attention away from Hillary Clinton, I’m sure.