The New York attorney general’s office is looking into the Eric Trump Foundation following a Forbes report that detailed possible self-dealing by President Donald Trump through the foundation.
“The attorney general’s office is looking into the issues raised by this report,” Eric Soufer, communications director for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, told Forbes Friday.
Soufer did not respond to TPM’s questions about the scope of any potential investigation.
Forbes published a lengthy investigation Tuesday detailing a spike in payments from the Eric Trump Foundation to the Trump Organization beginning around 2010, seemingly contrary to Eric Trump’s claims that he used the company’s facilities free of charge for his annual fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Forbes found that, shortly before the spike in costs incurred by the charity events, the Donald J. Trump Foundation donated $100,000 to the Eric Trump Foundation.
Ian Gillule, who worked for the Trump National Westchester at the time of the payment, said the donation was made explicitly to offset the increased cost of using the Trump Organization’s facilities, meaning money donated to the President’s charitable foundation would have been used to profit the President’s business.
The publication also found a number of Eric Trump Foundation payments to other charities — some of which in turn paid the Trump Organization for charity events of their own at its golf courses — that coincided with the appointment of 14 new foundation board members, “the majority of whom owed all or much of their livelihoods to the Trump Organization.”
In response to Forbes’ reporting, a spokesperson for Eric Trump said in a statement to TPM that “at no time did the Trump Organization profit in any way from the foundation or any of its activities.” Eric Trump himself told Forbes, who interviewed him for its story, that “We get to use our assets 100% free of charge.”