Last week, The Washington Post’s David Farenthold reported that the Trump Foundation never received the certification New York requires of charities to solicit donations from the public. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took notice, and on Monday his office notified the Trump Foundation that it was in violation of state law and must stop soliciting donations within 15 days.
This is a significant development, but it also marks the beginning of what will likely be a months-long saga. There is already evidence that the Trump Foundation has engaged in self-dealing—for example, that Trump has used the Foundation to pay for personal legal fees—and that Trump directed money owed to him to the Foundation, possibly to avoid paying income tax on it. If the Trump Foundation does not provide the necessary paperwork in 15 days it “shall be deemed a continuing fraud upon the people of New York.”
The Trump campaign released a statement on Monday afternoon indicating that it was “concerned about the political motives” behind the investigation, but said it planned to fully cooperate with Schneiderman’s office.