By Helene Fung
New Work state Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ordered US President Donald Trump to pay US$2 million for misusing funds from the Donald J. Trump Foundation (which was later dissolved in December 2018) to advance his 2016 presidential campaign.
Payment is to be directed to eight different charities, including the Army Emergency Relief, Children’s Aid Society and City Meals-on-Wheels.
The lawsuit was filed by the state’s last Attorney-Generalagainst Mr Trump and three of his adult children, Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka.
Mr Trump accused the current Attorney-General, Letitia James,of “deliberately mischaracterising this settlement for political purposes”, and said that the foundation was an “incredibly effective philanthropy” that had made “some small technical violations”.
Justice Scarpulla agreed with the Attorney-General’s office that Mr Trump had breached his fiduciary duty to the foundation, including “allowing his campaign to orchestrate the fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the foundation, to direct distribution of the funds, and using the fundraiser and distribution of the funds to further Mr Trump’s political campaign”.
However, Justice Scarpulla refused to award punitive damages requested by the Attorney-General’s office, and cited Mr Trump’s agreement to take steps to avoid a recurrence.