A US judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $US2 million ($US3.1m) to an array of charities as a fine for misusing his own charitable foundation to further his political and business interests.
New York state Judge Saliann Scarpulla imposed the penalty after the president admitted to a series of abuses that were outlined in a lawsuit brought against him last year by the New York attorney general’s office.
Note Trump pleaded guilty.
Trump’s fine and the charity’s funds will be split evenly among eight organisations, including Citymeals on Wheels, the United Negro College Fund and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Trump also accepted restrictions on his involvement in other charitable organisations.
Basically means the President has been found unfit to run a charity without supervision.
Trump also admitted in the agreements to directing that $US100,000 in foundation money be used to settle legal claims over a 24-metre flagpole he had built at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, instead of paying the expense out of his own pocket.
In addition, the foundation paid $US158,000 to resolve a lawsuit over a prize for a hole-in-one contest at a Trump-owned golf course, and $US5000 for ads promoting Trump’s hotels in the programmes for charitable events. Trump admitted these transactions were also improper.
So why were they authorised in the first place?