Donald Trump’s Trump Foundation, a non-profit foundation, may have violated rules that bar its involvement in politics when it donated funds to veterans groups.
The problem for Trump is that the foundation, of which he is president and his children Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump are directors, has written checks to veterans groups, and the way they were distributed may be a source of trouble.
Leftist groups are targeting the Trump Foundation’s activities: Larry Noble, the general counsel at the George Soros-funded Campaign Legal Center, told The Daily Beast that the issue was “whether the foundation provided the campaign with an illegal in-kind contribution by providing services for what was a campaign event. Under the campaign finance laws… providing anything of value to a campaign for free or at less than fair market value is a contribution to the campaign,”
Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the Soros-funded Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, echoed, “A 501(c)(3) [nonprofit organization], like the Trump Foundation, is strictly prohibited from engaging in political activity. On its tax forms, the Foundation told the IRS that it does not.”
Are the suspicions by the leftists justified?
In 2013, the Trump Foundation donated $25,000 to a political organization supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; which the Trump campaign claimed was caused by a clerical error; Bondi was considering complaints against Trump University at the time.
There have been numerous instances of Trump giving Trump Foundation checks to veterans’ charities at rallies, calling into question whether the groups’ participation at the rallies was elicited by a forthcoming contribution.
Just before the Iowa caucuses, on Jan. 30, at a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa, Trump gave a $100,000 Trump Foundation check to Puppy Jake, a charity offering service dogs to veterans. Puppy Jake’s executive director, Becky Beach, told The Daily Beast that the Trump campaign had communicated with her about the prospective donation. On January 31, the founder of Support Siouxland Soldiers, Sarah Petersen, accepted a $100,000 Trump Foundation check during a rally in Sioux City.nSarah Petersen told The Daily Beast she had spoken with a Trump staffer named Hope, and gave The Daily Beast the phone number used for the conversation; that number matched the campaign’s listed number for Hope Hicks, spokeswoman for the Trump campaign.
Are the suspicions by the leftists justified? Perhaps.
One executive director of a veterans’ charity was more perceptive; Keith Howard, the executive director of a New Hampshire charity named Liberty House, told The Daily Beast someone from the Trump campaign contacted him about receiving a six-figure donation at a Londonderry, New Hampshire, rally just before the New Hampshire primary. Howard was worried such an action might endanger his group’s non-profit status, so he contacted the state’s attorney general’s office, where they said such an action could be problematic. Howard turned down appearing at the rally; instead receiving a check later from a New Hampshire state representative who passed it on to him.