What happens when you steal money from a kids’ cancer charity run by your own son? If you’re Donald Trump, you just see it as good business decision. If you’re Eric Trump, you respond by going on television and hurling personal insults at Democrats. But if you’re the Attorney General of the State of New York, you view the whole thing as a crime.
So it’s not surprising that after Forbes exposed the fraud within the Eric Trump Foundation this week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is now investigating the whole mess (link). Schneiderman is the one who took down the phony Trump University, and he’s also the one who took down the phony Donald Trump Foundation charity. But this investigation might churn up deeper consequences.
Schneiderman settled with Donald Trump on the Trump University scam in order force him to put some money back into the hands of the victims; he was never going to be able to definitively prove that Trump knew the university he had licensed his name to was scamming people, so the settlement was the best he was going to get. But the Eric Trump Foundation touches on two of Donald Trump’s biggest legal liabilities: his children, and the State of New York.
Eric Trump has long claimed that 100% of donations to his charity were going directly to sick kids. Lying to get people to donate to a nonprofit is a crime. So the question is whether Eric can make a believable reasonable doubt case that he somehow didn’t know his own charity was making payments to his father’s businesses. Otherwise, Eric goes down for this. And as we’ve explained previously, even if Donald Trump wanted to pardon his son, the U.S. President cannot pardon anyone for state-level crimes. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report