New York attorney general opens probe of
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[September 14, 2016]
(Reuters) - New York Attorney
General Eric Schneiderman said on Tuesday he had opened an inquiry into
the Donald J. Trump Foundation to ensure the Republican presidential
nominee's charity was complying with state laws governing nonprofits.
Schneiderman, a supporter of Trump's Democratic rival in the
presidential race, Hillary Clinton, sued the real estate mogul and his
now defunct Trump University for fraud in 2013, seeking $40 million in
restitution plus penalties and other costs.
In a CNN interview on Tuesday, Schneiderman said his office had now
brought Trump's charitable foundation under scrutiny.
"My interest in this issue really is in my capacity as regulator of
nonprofits in New York state. And we have been concerned that the Trump
Foundation may have engaged in some impropriety from that point of
view," the elected Democratic official said.
He added: "We have been looking into the Trump Foundation to make sure
it's complying with the laws that govern charities in New York." He did
not elaborate on what wrongdoing Trump's nonprofit might have committed.
Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung dismissed Schneiderman's
assertions as entirely motivated by presidential politics, calling the
attorney general a "partisan hack who has turned a blind eye to the
Clinton Foundation for years."
Cheung called Schneiderman's comments "nothing more than another
left-wing hit job designed to distract" attention from Clinton's recent
missteps on the campaign trail.
Trump has accused Clinton of being corrupted by donors to the Clinton
Foundation global charity founded by her husband, former President Bill
Clinton, while she was U.S. secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Clinton has dismissed Trumpís allegation as a political smear. There has
been no evidence that foreign donors to the foundation obtained favors
from the State Department while Clinton headed the agency.
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump makes his way through a
crowd of supporters during a campaign stop at the Boulevard Diner in
Dundalk, Maryland, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Schneiderman made his remarks when asked on CNN about calls from
Democrats in Congress for a federal investigation of a $25,000
donation in 2013 from the Trump Foundation to a political committee
supporting Florida's Republican attorney general, Pam Bondi.
Democrats have cited an Associated Press report that Bondi solicited
the donation personally, around the time her office was debating
whether to join New York state's investigation into Trump's real
estate training school in Florida. According to the AP, Bondi, who
was seeking re-election at the time, broke off the lawsuit
deliberations after the check arrived.
Bondi, who has endorsed Trump, has called the AP report misleading.
(Additional reporting by Mohammad Zargham in Washington)
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