Lawsuit against Trump family charity can proceed, judge rules

0
387

A judge in Manhattan has rejected arguments about presidential immunity and political bias and ruled that a lawsuit against the Trump family charity can proceed.

The New York state attorney general filed the civil suit in June, alleging that Donald Trump and his children Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump ran the Donald J Trump Foundation “in persistent violation” of state and federal law.

The office claimed the charity was used as a “piggy bank” to boost Trump Sr’s 2016 presidential campaign, violating rules that bar not-for-profit groups from engaging in certain types of political activity.

The suit claims that up to $3m in such funds boosted Trump’s campaign. Among examples of allegedly improperly used funds is the allegation that the charity spent $10,000 on a giant painting of Trump himself.

On Friday, the Manhattan supreme court justice Saliann Scarpulla found that the president was not “immune” from state lawsuits, as Trump has claimed in other litigation.

Pointing to Clinton v Jones, a 1997 US supreme court decision which permitted a sitting president to be sued, Scarpulla noted that the commander-in-chief is “subject to the laws” for unofficial acts, which would include involvement with a charity prior to taking office.

Pointing to Clinton v Jones, a 1997 US supreme court decision which permitted a sitting president to be sued, Scarpulla noted that the commander-in-chief is “subject to the laws” for unofficial acts, which would include involvement with a charity prior to taking office.

But in this case, she said, “the allegations raised in the petition do not involve any action taken by Mr Trump as president and any potential remedy would not affect Mr Trump’s official federal duties”.

Read more…