US New York Attorney General Starts Probe Into Trump Foundation Activities

© REUTERS / Chris KeaneUS Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks down as he leaves a campaign event in Concord, North Carolina March 7, 2016.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks down as he leaves a campaign event in Concord, North Carolina March 7, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The Attorney General for the state of New York Eric Schneiderman started the investigation in order to check the information about the accuracy of the donations received by the Trump Foundation.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Attorney General for the state of New York Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday started investigation into the activities of charitable foundation of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

According to media reports, Schneiderman started the investigation in order to check the information about the accuracy of the donations received by the Trump Foundation.

"My interest in this issue really is in my capacity as regulator of non-profits in New York state, and we have been concerned that the Trump Foundation may have engaged in some impropriety from that point of view," Schneiderman told the CNN broadcaster.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman - Sputnik International
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Trump’s spokesman Jason Miller responded to the beginning of the inquiry, saying that it was a political scheme designed to divert attention from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"This is nothing more than another left-wing hit job designed to distract from (Hillary Clinton's) disastrous week," Miller said, accusing Schneiderman of being a "partisan hack who has turned a blind eye to the Clinton Foundation for years and has endorsed Hillary Clinton."

TRUMP FOUNDATION

The renowned US businessman founded the Donald J. Trump Foundation in 1988. However, according to publicly available sources, the main donations have been received not from the billionaire, but from the companies he had cooperated with.

In June, The Washington Post reported that in the last 15 years Trump had spent about $2.8 million on charity through his foundation, despite the claims of people from the mogul's campaign that he had donated some $100 million in recent years. The newspaper added that it had not found any evidences of Trump's donation to his foundation since 2008.

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At the same time, media paid attention to people and organizations, who received donations from the Trump Foundation. Therefore they reported about allocation of $25,000 to support Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, when her office was responsible for investigation of alleged fraud related to the Trump University, which has reportedly collected donations instead of providing educational services. One more recipient of money from the Trump Foundation was the Citizens United Foundation that had filed a lawsuit against Schneiderman, who had also investigated the Trump University's activities.

CLINTON FOUNDATION

The situation, involving both Trump and Schneiderman, could have been deprived of any political connotation, apart from the relations between the attorney and Trump's rival in the presidential race. Schneiderman and Clinton reportedly have communicated since the 1990s, when Clinton was the first lady of the United States.

The fact of acquaintanceship between Schneiderman and Clinton has been repeatedly used as a ground for several members of the Republican Party to criticize the activities of the attorney in regard to the Clinton Foundation, which has been registered as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, because of a charitable nature of its activities.

The Perks of Being a Clinton Foundation Donor
The foundation receives donations and contributions from foreign governments, corporations and individuals. According to the Washington Free Beacon media outlet, the foundation's capitalization was evaluated at $2 billion in 2016. At the same time in 2014 the foundation had allocated only about a third of its funds on charity, while almost 40 percent were used to pay salaries.

At the same time, several Clinton Foundation's subsidiaries had also attracted attention of independent observers. According to the investigation of Scripps Washington Bureau company, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) has not fully revealed information about the contributions received from abroad in 2010-2014. At the same time, the CHAI failed to disclose $225 million in foreign government donations during Clinton's tenure as US secretary of state, the company said.

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