Under legal pressure from the New York Attorney General's office, the Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve and donate any remaining funds it may have under strict judicial supervision.
Judicial supervision is necessary because, in the words of outgoing Attorney General Barbara Underwood, the Trump Foundation was illegal as hell.
“Our petition detailed a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.
“Today’s stipulation accomplishes a key piece of the relief sought in our lawsuit earlier this year. Under the terms, the Trump Foundation can only dissolve under judicial supervision – and it can only distribute its remaining charitable assets to reputable organizations approved by my office.
The attorney general's office has not yet detailed exactly how the Trump Foundation illegally coordinated with Trump's campaign, but I think we already know of at least a few incidents.
For example, Trump using his charity to raise money for veterans at official campaign events was illegal. Moreover, raising money for veterans at campaign events and then never paying out the amount of money you promised is extraordinarily illegal.
As for the self-dealing, we know Trump used the foundation to buy his own memorabilia, including a giant portrait of himself, for his own properties, but it's possible there have been even more egregious offenses we don't know of yet.
As Trump's illegal charity is forcibly dissolved, I can't help but recall that a significant amount of the political press spent the final weeks of the 2016 election pretending that the Clinton Foundation is the real epicenter of charitable scandal. The New York Times and others even paid for early access to Clinton Cash, a book about the Clinton Foundation whose author Peter Schweizer was thoroughly discredited.