Donald Trump May Have Violated the Johnson Amendment With His Shady Foundation

By Hemant Mehta

When New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit the other day against Donald Trump and his children, accusing them of “persistently illegal conduct” with regards to their family foundation, I didn’t think much of it beyond the headlines. (Trumps behaving badly? Not exactly news.)

The allegations were primarily about how the Trumps used money donated to the charity foundation to fund Trump’s presidential campaign, pay off Trump’s debts, decorate Trump’s golf clubs, and stage lavish events to benefit (who else?) Trump. They didn’t really help other human beings because… well, why start now?

But when you say you’ve set up a charity, the expectation is that you run it as a charity, with proper governance and oversight, and following all the laws our country has for non-profit groups. The Donald J. Trump Foundation is accused of having done none of that.

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