The New York Attorney General's office said that "the Trump Foundation has signed a stipulation agreeing to dissolve under judicial supervision"

By Emily Zauzmer
December 18, 2018 01:50 PM
Advertisement
Alex Edelman/Pool/Getty

President Donald Trump‘s titular foundation is dissolving amid legal action.

In a press release, New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood’s office said that “the Trump Foundation has signed a stipulation agreeing to dissolve under judicial supervision, with review and approval by the Attorney General of proposed recipient charities of the Foundation’s remaining assets.”

“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,” Underwood said in the press release. “This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.”

In December 2016, The New York Times reported that Trump planned to close the foundation to avoid a conflict of interest.

Alan S. Futerfas, an attorney for the foundation, told PEOPLE in a statement, “Contrary to the NYAG’s misleading statement issued earlier today, the Foundation has been seeking to dissolve and distribute its remaining assets to worthwhile charitable causes since Donald J. Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election.”

“Unfortunately, the NYAG sought to prevent dissolution for almost two years, thereby depriving those most in need of nearly $1.7 million,” Futerfas’ statement continued. “Over the past decade, the Foundation is proud to have distributed approximately $19 million, including $8.25 million of the President’s personal money, to over 700 different charitable organizations with virtually zero expenses. The NYAG’s inaccurate statement of this morning is a further attempt to politicize this matter.”

In June, Underwood sued Trump, three of his children (Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump) and their foundation for allegedly engaging in “persistent illegal conduct,” according to a press release at the time.

RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Writer Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack

The lawsuit is continuing even as the foundation dissolves. The lawsuit attempts to prevent Trump, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric from holding positions on the boards of any New York charity.

“Today’s stipulation accomplishes a key piece of the relief sought in our lawsuit earlier this year,” Underwood said in her statement. “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.”

“This is an important victory for the rule of law, making clear that there is one set of rules for everyone,” Underwood said. “We’ll continue to move our suit forward to ensure that the Trump Foundation and its directors are held to account for their clear and repeated violations of state and federal law.”

In September 2016, Underwood’s predecessor Eric Schneiderman started an investigation into the foundation. That same month, The Washington Post reported that Trump had allegedly used $258,000 from the foundation to settle his businesses’ lawsuits.