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NY attorney general sends cease and desist order to Trump Foundation

The New York attorney general's office on Monday ordered Donald Trump's charitable foundation to stop raising money in the state because it does not have the proper certification.

The cease and desist order obtained by NBC News also asks the Donald J. Trump Foundation to send any delinquent financial reports to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office within 15 days. It is dated Sept. 30.

Schneiderman's office opened a probe into the Republican presidential candidate's foundation last month as multiple Washington Post reports raised questions about how it used its funds. The newspaper first reported that the foundation, which has raised money from donors outside the Trump family for years, did not have the certification to do so. It also found that Trump used the foundation's money to settle legal issues for his for-profit businesses and to buy paintings of himself.

"When evidence of clear misconduct is brought to our attention, we take action," an attorney general's office spokesman told NBC News.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the media regarding donations to veterans foundations at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 31, 2016.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the media regarding donations to veterans foundations at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 31, 2016.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement that it is concerned with the "political motivations" behind the investigation, as Schneiderman is a Democrat.

"The Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time," she said.

The Post reported that the Trump Foundation raised more than $25,000 from outsiders in each of the past 10 years. Earlier this year, he raised $1.7 million for a veterans event and directed web donations to the Trump Foundation.

Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton have accused one another of using charitable foundations for personal enrichment. Clinton's family has said it will change how it operates should Hillary Clinton get elected president because of potential conflicts of interest.