A New York judge on Thursday ordered US President Donald Trump to pay US$2 million for using his former charity to further his political and business interests, adding to the president’s legal woes.
New York Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla told Trump to pay the damages to a group of nonprofit organizations to settle a civil lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat.
James filed the lawsuit against the Trump Foundation in June last year, accusing it of “persistently illegal conduct” that included improper coordination between the charity and his campaign team during his 2016 presidential bid.
Trump in December last year agreed to shut down his personal charity, but the civil lawsuit moved ahead regardless as prosecutors sought millions of dollars in restitution and penalties.
“[The ruling] is a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain,” James said in a statement.
The suit accused Trump of using foundation funds to settle lawsuits, promote his Trump-branded hotels, and for personal spending, including the purchase of a portrait of himself to display at one of his golf clubs.
It also said that in early 2016, while Trump was running for president, he organized what was billed as a Trump Foundation fundraiser that was actually a campaign event.
Trump accused James of “deliberately mischaracterizing this settlement for political purposes,” saying that the resolution of the case was not damages, but simply donations to the charities.
“Every penny of the US$19 million raised by the Trump Foundation went to hundreds of great charitable causes with almost no expenses,” he said in a statement.
“It has been four years of politically motivated harassment... All they found was incredibly effective philanthropy and some small technical violations, such as not keeping board minutes,” he added.
The ruling was the third legal setback Trump suffered in his native New York this week.
On Monday, a US appeals court ruled that he must release eight years of tax returns, which he promised during the campaign to make public after an audit, but has since refused to share.
The same day, US magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, who has accused Trump of rape, sued him for defamation after he accused her of making up the allegation.
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
HISTORIC FLIGHT: The astronauts named their capsule ‘Endeavour,’ after the space shuttle on which they both flew, while Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion Two veteran NASA astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel. SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 19-hour voyage to the space station. “Let’s light this candle,” Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22pm from NASA’s
INDIA Pride to be preserved The nation would not let its “pride be hurt” in its latest border flare-ups with China, but is determined to settle the dispute through talks, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh said in a television interview late on Saturday. “Situations arise with China. It has happened before,” Singh said, adding that the government was striving to make sure “tension does not escalate.” The government has turned down US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate, he said. IRAN Speaker says talks futile Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf yesterday said that any negotiations with the US would be “futile.” The nation’s