Donald Trump’s charitable nonprofit entity, the Trump Foundation, engaged in widespread fraudulent activity in relation to the Donald Trump campaign, according to a new lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of the State of New York. This helped to legitimate a number of accusations of impropriety that had been made about the Trump Organization by the media, and also revealed new improprieties that even the media didn’t know about. Suffice it to say, Donald Trump did not take the news particularly well.
Trump posted this unhinged tweet in response: “The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case! Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years. Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle.” There are a few things worth noting here.
First, Eric Schneiderman is not involved in this civil suit. He resigned last month after he was accused of violence toward various women. Today’s suit was brought by New York’s new Attorney General Barbara Underwood. Yet Trump references Schneiderman twice, despite his total lack of involvement. So it’s clear that Trump plans to try to distract from his Foundation’s improprieties by playing up Schneiderman’s unrelated scandal, and by falsely dragging Hillary Clinton into a matter which does not involve her in any way.
Second, Donald Trump settled New York’s previous suit against him, over his Trump University scam, shortly after being named the winner of the election. It’s notable that he’s not willing to settle this time around on the Trump Foundation. Given the evidence, he can’t possibly think he’ll win. Is Trump now too cash-poor to come up with enough money to settle? When major lawsuits like this go to trial, they tend to drag on for years. Is he expecting to be in prison by then anyway? If those aren’t realistic explanations, there has to be some reason he’s not willing to settle, when that’s always been his solution, and it would seemingly make his scandal-plagued life easier right now.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report