Yeah, about that.
It turns out that a new Washington Post story shows that it was in fact Donald Trump’s charitable foundation that was "crooked".
Last week the "Trump Charitable Foundation" admitted to the Internal Revenue Service that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to financially benefit themselves, their family or their businesses.
In other words Donald Trump Foundation admitted he personally used his charities money to buy stuff and pay off his debts.
The admission was contained in the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s IRS tax filings for 2015, which were recently posted online at the nonprofit-tracking site GuideStar. A GuideStar spokesman said the forms were uploaded by the Trump Foundation’s law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
In 2014, in the section of the form where the IRS asks whether the Trump Foundation had transferred “income or assets to a disqualified person.” i.e. Trump or a member of his family or a Trump-owned business, the Trump Foundation checked “no” to these questions...
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But for 2015, the Trump Foundation checked “yes”
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The 64,000 dollar question is why the Trump Foundation was now admitting to self-dealing in prior years when previously it had told the IRS it had done nothing of the kind.
From 2009 until this year, the charity was funded exclusively with other people’s money since Trump added zero dollars to the fund from 2008 on. This is an arrangement that experts say is almost unheard of for a family foundation.
In essence the charity became Trump's personal slush fund.
Despite the revelation on the IRS tax form it's not like it was a big secret during the campaign as The Post revealed several instances where Trump used his Foundation to help himself to the tune of $300,000.
In two cases, The Post reported, the Trump Foundation appeared to pay legal settlements to end lawsuits that involved his for-profit businesses...
• In one case, Trump settled a dispute with the town of Palm Beach, Fla., over a large flagpole he erected at his Mar-a-Lago Club. The town agreed to waive $120,000 in unpaid fines if Trump’s club donated $100,000 to Fisher House. The Trump Foundation paid that donation. This effectively saved Trump's business $120,000.
• In another, Trump’s golf course in New York’s Westchester County was sued by a man who had won a $1 million hole-in-one prize during a tournament at the course. The man was later denied the money because Trump’s course had allegedly made the hole too short for the prize to be valid. The lawsuit was settled, and details on that final settlement have not been made public but on the day that the parties told the court that their lawsuit had been settled, the Trump Foundation donated $158,000 to the unhappy golfer’s charity. Trump’s golf course donated nothing.
In three other cases, Trump’s foundation paid for items that Trump or his wife purchased at charity auctions...
• In 2012, Trump bid $12,000 for a football helmet signed by then-Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
• In another case from 2007, Trump’s wife, Melania, bid $20,000 on a six-foot-tall portrait of Trump painted by “speed painter” Michael Israel during a gala at Mar-a-Lago.
• And in 2014, Trump bid $10,000 to buy a four-foot painting of himself by artist Havi Schanz at another charity gala.
In all three cases, the Trump Foundation paid the bill and never put the items to charitable use. Trump’s representatives have not said what became of the helmet or the $20,000 portrait. The $10,000 portrait was, however, located hanging on the wall of the sports bar at Trump’s Doral golf resort, outside Miami.
To make matters even more grotesque, in the new 2015 tax filing, the Trump Foundation who for the first time acknowledged that it owned these items listed market values far below what the foundation had paid!!! The $12,000 helmet was valued at $475, the portrait purchased for $20,000 was valued at $700, and the portrait purchased for $10,000 was valued at $500.
With all this coming to light as Trump enter's the White House we can rest assured that the congress will investigate these charges as doggedly as they did those of the Clinton Global Initiative...
No, I will not be holding my breath.