David Fahrenthold became a household name because of his deep dives into the Trump Organization’s charity, the Trump Foundation. He unearthed a treasure trove of scoops which indicated that the Trump Foundation may be skirting the law. The state of New York launched an investigation based on Fahrenthold’s reporting, and today, its attorney general filed a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation. Per The Washington Post:
The New York attorney general on Thursday filed suit against President Trump and his three eldest children alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at the president’s personal charity, saying Trump repeatedly misused the nonprofit — to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion dollar giveaway at his 2016 campaign events.
In the suit, filed Thursday morning, attorney general Barbara Underwood asked a state judge to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation. She asked that its remaining $1 million in assets be distributed to other charities and that Trump be forced to pay at least $2.8 million in restitution and penalties.
Underwood also asks that Trump be banned from leading any other New York nonprofit for 10 years — seeking to apply a penalty usually reserved for the operators of small-time charity frauds to the president of the United States.
New York’s Attorney General noted that Trump has paid more than $330,000 in reimbursements and tax penalties since 2016, but Underwood asserts that is but a small price given the overall charges. Given the opacity of American high finance, it’s impossible to say for certain where this is going. Fahrenthold won a Pulitzer for his reporting so the evidence is rock-solid, but as 2008 taught us all, connecting that to actual punishment is the hardest part.
UPDATE: The Trump Foundation did not comment upon initial publication of WaPo’s story, but they just released a statement.
Trump also went on a patented Twitter tirade shortly after our story went up at Paste.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.