Saturday, December 24, 2016

Trump Says He Intends to Dissolve Charitable Foundation

U.S President-elect Donald Trump said on Saturday he intends to dissolve his charitable foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which is currently under investigation by the New York attorney general.

Trump gave no timeline for winding down the foundation, but said in a statement that he wanted “to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President.” He takes office on Jan. 20.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in October directed the foundation to stop taking donations because he said it violated state law requiring charitable organizations to register with a state office.

The order followed a series of reports in The Washington Post that suggested improprieties by the foundation, including using its funds to settle legal disputes involving Trump businesses.

Trump said he’s directed his counsel to take the necessary steps to implement the dissolution.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said on Saturday, however, that Trump cannot shutter the foundation while the investigation is ongoing.

“The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said. She would not comment on expected timing for completing the investigation.

Trump said he was “very proud” of the money raised by the foundation and said it had operated at “essentially no cost for decades.”

“But because I will be devoting so much time and energy to the residency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world,” he added in his statement, “I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest.”

Critics have said it is impossible for Trump to serve as president without running into conflicts unless he fully divests himself of all his business and charitable interests.

Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.

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