Donald Trump is facing tough questions this week over his campaign's ties to Russia — and obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to intervene — but when it comes to investigating Trump, Russia is just the tip of the iceberg.
We were reminded Tuesday afternoon just how vast Trump's potential problems are when Forbes' Dan Alexander broke the news that Eric Trump's charitable foundation has been lying to its donors and funneling significant sums of money right into his father's pockets.
The Eric Trump Foundation does what appears at first glance to be legitimate charity work, holding golf fundraisers at Trump family courses and then donating the money to Saint Jude's, a famous children's cancer hospital. But the reality, according to the reporting, seems much less above board.
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In Trump's charity pitch, he claims to be receiving the use of Trump Organization golf courses and associated amenities for free — making the Eric Trump Foundation an unusually low-overhead charity. Alexander reports that's not the case. And, in fact, the opposite seems to be the case.
Based on a review of the relevant paperwork, "it's clear that the course wasn't free — that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization. Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament."
It's the kind of self-dealing and deception that's practically crying out for legal scrutiny, but like much of the rest of Trump's business career, it's unlikely to get it. Republicans in Congress have shown little interest in investigating this or any other Trump financial problems — and we all remember what happened the last time the IRS tried to bring closer scrutiny to nonprofits.