President Donald Trump’s lawyers had to use a rather humiliating excuse to explain away Trump’s blowing of $10,000 from his charity on a portrait of himself in court Thursday: he had to buy it, since no one else would bid.
According to a Thursday New York Post report, Trump purchased the artwork at a 2014 charity benefit at Mar-a-Lago.
“So Mr. Trump donates $10,000 to start the bidding, and then when the bidding goes on and no one else bids, they’re stuck with the painting,” Trump attorney Alan Futerfas told Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Saliann Scarpulla.
“They’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” he added, referring to accusations by prosecutors of Trump’s misspending of the charitable money on the painting, along with using it to pay off creditors and fund his campaign.
Per the New York Post, Assistant Attorney General Yael Fuchs is specifically pointing to a 2016 “Trump for Vets” event for which the campaign and foundation worked in tandem.
Judge Scarpulla reportedly said she would reserve judgement on the case until another appeals court determines whether a sitting President can be sued in state civil court.