New York Sues President Donald Trump, Seeks to Dissolve Trump Foundation

US President-elect Donald Trump along with his children (L-R) Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr. arrive for a press conference on January 11, 2017 at Trump Tower in New York
Timothy A. Clary/AFP

New York State announced a lawsuit Thursday against President Donald Trump, his sons, and his daughter over alleged “persistent illegal conduct” at their family foundation for more than a decade.

The lawsuit accused the Donald J. Trump foundation of “extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump’s personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations.”

“In violation of state and federal law, senior Trump campaign staff, including Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski, dictated the timing, amounts, and recipients of grants by the Foundation to non-profits,” said the office of New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

“The Trump Foundation also entered into at least five self-dealing transactions that were unlawful because they benefitted Mr. Trump or businesses he controls,” Underwood added. “These include a $100K payment to settle legal claims against Mr. Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort, $158K to settle legal claims against Trump National Golf Club, and $10K to purchase a painting of Mr. Trump displayed at the Trump National Doral.”

The suit seeks restitution of $2.8 million and the shutdown of the foundation, as well as a ten-year ban on Trump serving on the board of any other New York charity.

Following the announcement of the lawsuit, a defiant President Trump vowed he will not settle.

“The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!” Trump tweeted.

“Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years. Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle,” he added.

The Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.