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Attorney General: Trump Can’t Close Foundation While Being Investigated

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Attorney General: Trump Can’t Close Foundation While Being Investigated

In an effort to steer clear of further legal troubles, Donald Trump said Saturday he will dissolve the Trump Foundation, the charitable foundation in his name. New York Attorney General response? “Not so fast.”

“The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” Amy Spitalnick, the attorney general’s press secretary, said in an email CNN reported. She also confirmed the foundation’s fundraising activities “remain suspended.”

Saturday’s announcement also comes days after Trump’s son, Eric, announced he would suspend all operations of his foundation, The Eric Trump Foundation, to prevent wealthy donors from seeking access to Trump once he is sworn into office by donating to his son’s foundation.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman knows that shuttering the Trump Foundation could allow the President-elect to escape further legal troubles tied to his foundation, which has been the subject of several lawsuits and has admitted to violating IRS rules by improperly giving money to someone close to the organization, according to a recent federal income tax filing.

Although Trump touted the philanthropic efforts of his foundation, he has largely filled the charity’s coffers with other people’s money, according to a CNN review of the Trump Foundation’s tax records in September. It is unclear if Trump has donated money to charitable causes outside of the foundation as he has refused to release his tax returns, which would shed light on his charitable contributions.

“He still has not taken any concrete steps to divest from his business, which currently allows him to profit off of the presidency while leaving him susceptible to foreign influence,” said Eric Walker, deputy communications director of the Democratic National Committee.

Trump has resisted calls to liquidate his company’s assets and place them in a blind trust, and announced instead that he planned to hand over control of his company to his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., and other top executives. Still, both Eric and Donald Jr. continue to serve on Trump’s transition team.

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