A judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay USD 2 million 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 in connection with a lawsuit brought against Trump by the New York attorney general’s office.
The judge ruled that Trump improperly allowed his presidential campaign staff to work with the foundation in holding a fundraiser for veterans’ charities in the run-up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses.
Last month, Trump’s lawyers and the attorney general’s office reached agreements to dissolve the foundation and distribute about USD 1.7 million in remaining funds to other nonprofits.
Trump has personally admitted misusing foundation funds. He and the attorney general’s office further agreed to leave it up to the judge to decide what penalty he should pay.
Trump’s fine and the charity’s funds will be split evenly among eight organizations, including City Meals-on-Wheels, the United Negro College Fund and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Trump agreed to pay back USD 11,525 in foundation funds that he spent on sports memorabilia and champagne at a charity gala.