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ALBANY — The Donald J. Trump Foundation has agreed to stop soliciting donations in New York amid a state investigation into the foundation’s fundraising and spending, according to state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
“The Trump Foundation has agreed to desist from fundraising and to cooperate with our investigation, which is ongoing,” said Schneiderman spokesman Eric Soufer.
Earlier this month, Schneiderman told Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, that his foundation must cease soliciting donations. Schneiderman has been investigating the foundation and his order says the foundation hasn’t filed its required annual report to the state Charities Registration Bureau. That report is required to solicit donations this year, Schneiderman stated.
“Based on information received by the Charities Bureau,” the notice of violation states, “The Trump Foundation was engaged in soliciting and fundraising activities in New York State in 2016, is not and was not registered with the Charities Bureau . . . and was thus not permitted to engage in such activity during this period.”
While the Trump campaign questioned this latest action by Schneiderman, who is also investigating Trump University, a business seminar headed by Trump, the campaign added it will cooperate with the probe and would have no further comment during the investigation.
The Washington Post reported that Trump hasn’t personally contributed to the foundation since 2008. Instead, he solicited donations that he bestowed as charitable gifts from the Trump Foundation. The newspaper has reported that the Trump Foundation purchased portraits of Trump at charity events and in 2013 made a $25,000 donation to a group that was supporting the Florida attorney general, who at the time refused to join with her colleagues in a multistate investigation of Trump University. That donation was later rescinded and the Trump campaign blamed the dispersal on a misunderstanding.
Newsday reported in September that the Trump Foundation gave away $158,250 in 2014 to fight cancer and other diseases and donated $141,000 to groups that promote the conservative social policy he would espouse in his presidential campaign a year later, state and federal records show.