President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington on...

President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington on Dec. 18, 2018.  Credit: Bloomberg/Al Drago

New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump and his family had agreed to dissolve his charitable foundation, which the state alleges served as a piggy bank for Trump’s personal and campaign needs.

Naturally, this prompted a slate of stories rehashing the juiciest allegations in the state’s lawsuit, which will move forward. A personal favorite: The foundation gave $7 to the Boy Scouts of America in 1989, which the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold observed “matched the amount required to enroll a boy in the Scouts the year that (Trump’s) son Donald Trump Jr. was 11.”

Underwood summarized the allegations this way: “Our petition detailed a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more.” Ouch.

It’s worth noting, though, that Trump tried to shutter the foundation after the election, only to be held off by the attorney general. So in one respect, Tuesday’s agreement simply gives Trump what he’s been seeking for months.

Naturally, there is an important twist. The foundation will have 30 days to submit a list of nonprofits that will collect the remaining balance — $1.75 million, much of it contributed by folks outside the Trump family — jointly with Underwood’s office, with the attorney general having veto power. So, no more contributions to support the re-election of Republican officials while they are investigating Trump businesses.

But where should the money go? Here are a few suggestions of groups that find themselves particularly in need at the moment:

— Groups responding to the humanitarian crisis on our southern border, such as Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services and Kids in Need of Defense.

— And while we’re at it, groups that support and sustain displaced people, such as the International Rescue Committee and Doctors Without Borders, now that the U.S. isn’t so eager to take them.

— The Committee to Protect Journalists, in the name of Jamal Khashoggi.

— To offset the administration’s attacks on the Affordable Care Act’s provisions on contraception and preventive care, Planned Parenthood. Admittedly, that one would sting.

— The California Republican Party, because Trump has proved to be incredibly hazardous to GOP candidates’ health in the Golden State. OK, the party isn’t really a charity. But it could really use the help.

Jon Healey wrote this piece for the Los Angeles Times.


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