Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The Republicans and Donald Trump (with a major assist from the newspapers) threw a patty cake punch at the Clinton Foundation and came up with nothing but air. The counterpunch was strong and has landed with a thud.

The Trump Foundation must stop fundraising immediately, the New York attorney general’s office said Monday.

The state’s attorney general has notified Republican presidential nominee Donald Trumpthat his charitable foundation is violating New York law because it does not have the proper certification to solicit donations, The Washington Post first reported.

James Sheehan, head of the attorney general’s charities bureau, sent the notice to the foundation on Friday.

The notice follows a story that The Washington Post published last week that showed the foundation had been soliciting donations without being properly registered in New York state.

I doubt that Trump much cares that he can’t do any more fundraising for charity using his Donald J. Trump Foundation, but he’s got to be concerned about this:

The Trump Foundation never registered under article 7A of New York’s Executive Law, according to the Post, as is required for any charity asking for more than $25,000 per year from the public.

That means Trump’s foundation has avoided any of the outside audits New York law requires of larger charities.
“The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York,” Sheehan wrote to the Trump Foundation.

Schneiderman ordered the foundation supply the state all the legal paperwork required of charities that solicit money from the public within 15 days, according to the Post.

The foundation must also provide all financial audit reports it should have provided in previous years.

Considering the fact that it’s now clear that Trump has used his foundation as a slush fund to hide income, avoid taxes, make illegal political contributions, spend other people’s money to falsely make himself look like a philanthropist and to give himself gifts, I can’t imagine that he will want to provide the New York attorney general with “all the financial audit reports it should have provided in previous years.”

The lesson?

Don’t throw a punch if you’re not prepared to take one in return.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at