Two state attorneys general announced that they are reviewing a Christian charity run by one of President Donald Trump’s personal attorneys after the Guardian reported Tuesday that the nonprofit steered tens of millions of dollars from low-income, direct-mail donors to the attorney and his family members.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will be looking into Jay Sekulow’s Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) for any evidence of wrongdoing. As the Guardian reported, Sekulow signed off on documents pressuring poor and unemployed donors to make a “sacrificial gift” to CASE despite their financial hardship. He, his family and their businesses have raked in over $60 million in compensation and contracts through the charity since 2000, according to the report.
“The reports I’ve read are troubling,” Stein said in a statement to the Guardian. “My office is looking into this matter.”
Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, confirmed to TPM in an email: “We are reviewing their filings.”
Sekulow did not directly respond to the allegations, but his spokesman, Gene Kapp, told the Guardian that all of the charity’s financial arrangements are reviewed by outside counsel and that the IRS found CASE to be in full compliance with tax laws during a previous audit.
Experts in nonprofit law said that the Sekulows could have violated a federal law prohibiting top officials at non-profits from receiving excessive benefits, according to the Guardian’s report.