Law

New York governor opens the door to a criminal case against the Trump Foundation

Key Points
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday opened the door to a possible criminal case against the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
  • The state attorney general’s office said it had not determined that a criminal referral was warranted, however.
  • The state’s attorney general filed a civil lawsuit against President Donald Trump, three of his children and his foundation in June, saying Trump had illegally used the nonprofit as a personal “checkbook” for his own benefit.
New York state governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Wang Ying | Xinhua | Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday opened the door to a possible criminal case against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, but the state attorney general’s office said it had not determined that a criminal referral was warranted.

“At Governor Cuomo’s direction, the state stands ready to provide the (New York) Attorney General with the appropriate criminal referral on this matter if and when she asks for it,” Alphonso David, the governor’s counsel, said in a statement.

The state’s attorney general, Barbara Underwood, filed a civil lawsuit against President Donald Trump, three of his children and his foundation in June, saying Trump had illegally used the nonprofit as a personal “checkbook” for his own benefit, including his 2016 presidential campaign.

Underwood would need a criminal referral to file a criminal suit.

“We continue to evaluate the evidence to determine what additional actions may be warranted, and will seek a criminal referral from the appropriate state agency as necessary,” Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Underwood, said in a statement.

Underwood asked a state judge in June to dissolve the Foundation and to ban Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and his daughter Ivanka from holding leadership roles in New York charities.

WATCH: New York AG sues Donald Trump, his family and the foundation 

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New York AG sues Donald Trump, his family and the foundation
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Key Points
  • New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is suing President Donald Trump, three of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump.
  • Underwood alleges "a pattern of persistent illegal conduct" at the Donald J. Trump Foundation for more than a decade.
  • The AG is seeking $2.8 million in restitution and wants to dissolve the foundation.