The office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has just dealt Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump a massive blow. The AG’s office has issued a “notice of violation” to the Trump Foundation, and ordered it to stop taking donations.
The letter was delivered on Friday, but not released until today by Mr. Schneiderman’s office. It alleges that the Trump Foundation has been illegally raising money in the state of New York.
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“The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fund-raising activities in New York,” wrote James Sheehan, the chief of the charities bureau.
This is the latest in a string of Trump fundraising hiccups. The New York Times reported in September that Trump’s foundation is not on charity registers in multiple states where it is accepting donations.
“While we remain very concerned about the political motives behind A.G. Schneiderman’s investigation, the Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation,” writes Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks. “Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.”
The Attorney General’s office is now widening its investigation into the Trump Foundation’s compliance with other state laws, including how the foundation has been spending the money it raises.
The AG’s letter gives the foundation 15 days to provide documentation that must be filed in order to solicit contributions. Those documents include financial statements and fiscal reports. It must also file these same documents and reports for previous years.
“The failure immediately to discontinue solicitation and to file information and reports,” Mr. Sheehan said, “shall be deemed a fraud upon the people of the state of New York.”
It is worth noting that Trump considers himself to be a New Yorker, though his support in the state falls well behind that of his Democratic rival.