ALBANY — State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has told Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that his Trump Foundation must cease soliciting donations, according to a notice from Schneiderman.
Schneiderman has been investigating the foundation and his order — through Charities Bureau director John Sheehan — 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.
“The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York,” the order 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.”
The Trump campaign questioned this latest action by Schneiderman, who is also investigating Trump University.
“While we remain very concerned about the political motives behind AG Schneiderman’s investigation, the Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation,” campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. “Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.”
The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the Trump Foundation has solicited donations this year. The newspaper previously 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.
Donald Trump is the president and only listed officer of the foundation.
Schneiderman also is compelling the foundation to file records for past years’ activities that show it raised and spent money legally in New York under state laws.
The Trump Foundation has 15 days to respond and conform with state charities law.
The Washington Post 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 That donation was later rescinded and the Trump campaign blamed the dispersal on a misunderstanding.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.