"Donald Trump took money other people gave his charity and used it to pay his businesses' fines."
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) September 20, 2016
David Fahrenthold deserves at least one Pulitzer. And if his excellent reporting saves our country from the horrors of a Trump presidency, possibly a Medal of Freedom as well.
From his latest Washington Post article:
Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.
Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses…
If the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf. Trump is also facing scrutiny from the New York attorney general’s office, which is examining whether the foundation broke state charity laws.
More broadly, these cases also provide new evidence that Trump ran his charity in a way that may have violated U.S. tax law and gone against the moral conventions of philanthropy…
The four new cases of possible self-dealing were discovered in the Trump Foundation’s tax filings. While Trump has refused to release his personal tax returns, the foundation’s filings are required to be public…
By all means, read the whole thing. Of course it’s been clear since the beginning that Trump wouldn’t release his personal returns because they’d show just how much of a petty thief and two-bit chiseler he is, but now it looks more and more like an attempt to avoid legal repercussions.
RYAN: Did you really pay your legal fines w/ charity money?
TRUMP: Just going forward, "I did it" is the answer to all questions, OK, rube?
— Owen Ellickson (@onlxn) September 20, 2016
“Think what the reaction would be if Clinton used her foundation’s money to pay off personal lawsuits.” https://t.co/Gr53pwDJUJ
— David Frum (@davidfrum) September 20, 2016