Donald Trump could be in for a rude awakening in the coming weeks if the recent revelation turns out to be accurate. David Farenthold of the Washington Post reports that the Trump Foundation never received the appropriate accreditation from the state of New York that it requires in order to be classified as a legitimate charity. That means every donation taken by the Trump Foundation, which were all tax-free, was also completely illegal. It could take as little as a simple court order for the Trump Foundation to be forced to refund those donations to their previous sources.
The state attorney general’s office for New York confirmed that the Trump Foundation had never sought out the certification necessary in order to solicit contributions from the general public. Despite their lack of proper procedures, the Trump Foundation was sustained for years by donations coming in from outside the Trump family.
According to New York state laws, any charitable organization that receives more that $25,000 per year from public donations must have registered as a legitimate charitable organization. Such registration allows charities to operate under a tax-exempt status, and for larger organizations like the Trump Foundation, it provides a method of regulation that includes annual audits and other checks and balances. One of the primary goals of these regulations is to discover whether any money from any charity is used personally by those in charge of the organization.
Despite the history surrounding the Trump Foundation, it is nothing like the public image it puts forth with the hope people will believe in the charitable nature of Trump and his organization. Instead, the foundation operates as a money-laundering front that allows Trump to avoid taxes without donating any of his own money. The Trump Foundation accepts donations from other charitable organizations and then uses that money in a number of nefarious ways, the least of which is actual charitable contributions. Trump once used money from the foundation to buy a $10,000 painted portrait of himself, and he also used $12,000 to buy a football helmet that once belonged to Tim Tebow. Even though Trump regularly uses money from the foundation for his own personal gain, he hasn’t donated any money to the foundation in eight years.
While such a revelation shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who really studies the behavior of Donald Trump, it still stunned many experts in the charity industry. Of course, most of those individuals aren’t capable of considering Trump to be the monster that he clearly is without some form of direct proof, and now they have it. Anyone with half a mind can see that Trump runs his empire as if he can’t go wrong, which leads him to do some strange things. He brags about his business acumen and his ability to find the best deal, yet he runs one of the largest ‘charitable’ organizations on the planet as if it were his own personal piggy bank.
It is impossible to examine some aspect of the Trump Foundation, or any part of Trump’s massive empire, without seeing his corruption running rampant. His goal with the presidential election is not to become president, but to simply make as much money as he can from the American people while boasting an image of the classic supremely successful businessman. One of two things is certainly the case with Donald Trump: either he is arrogant enough to assume the rules shouldn’t apply to him, or he is simply so monumentally foolish that he believes the presidential election should be nothing but a giant commercial featuring his face. Ironically, Trump has attacked the Clinton Foundation on multiple occasions without any evidence of wrongdoing.