President Donald Trump accused New York Attorney General Letitia James of “deliberately mischaracterizing” the details of a $2 million settlement reached on Thursday.
New York Judge Saliann Scarpulla ruled that Trump must pay $2 million as part of a settlement he, the Trump Foundation, and Jamess office reached in a lawsuit alleging Trump misused his charitable foundation during the 2016 campaign.
Scarpulla said Trump let his campaign hold a foundation fundraiser in January 2016 and used it “to further Mr. Trumps political campaign.”
The foundation received $2.8 million from the fundraiser and the money “did ultimately reach their intended destinations, i.e., charitable organizations supporting veterans,” Scarpulla ruled.
Instead of the entire $2.8 million that Jamess office pushed for, Scarpulla ordered Trump to pay $2 million. She also declined a statutory penalty of $5.2 million that Jamess office wanted the president to pay.
James celebrated the ruling on Wednesday.
“Weve secured a court order forcing President Trump to pay $2M in damages after admitting to illegally using the Trump Foundation to help him intervene in the 2016 presidential election and further his own political interests. No one is above the law,” she said in a statement.
In another statement, she wrote, “The courts decision, together with the settlements we negotiated, are a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain. My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law—not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the President of the United States.”
Trump accused James of twisting what actually happened.
“I am the only person I know, perhaps the only person in history, who can give major money to charity ($19M), charge no expense, and be attacked by the political hacks in New York State. No wonder why we are all leaving!” he wrote.
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