Trump Found Guilty of Stealing Veterans’ Charity Money

November 11th, 2019 - by Alex McCoy / Common Defense & Benjamin Hart / New York Magazine

Trump Fined $2 Million for Stolen Veteran Charity Money

Alex McCoy / Common Defense

NEW YORK (November 9, 2019) — News just came out that brings us right back to the original founding of Common Defense.  A court is forcing Donald Trump to pay a $2 million penalty for fraud he committed in 2016. (1) Trump held a “fundraiser for veterans charities,” but illegally funneled millions of dollars of the donations to his presidential campaign instead. He also lied about donating a million dollars of his own money to veterans.

Common Defense came together and organized veteran protests at Trump Tower. It was the first story that really hurt Trump’s campaign: veterans calling out his fraud. It forced him to donate the missing million dollars he lied about.

We realized we were on to something, that our voices could help stop Trump and the corruption and hate he represents. And Common Defense was born.  

Now we know the full extent of Trump’s fraud against veterans back before he was President, and in the last 3 years Trump has committed more impeachable offenses than we can count. 

Trump is always trying to exploit us veterans. He wants voters to think that he and his corrupt cronies have veterans’ support. The truth is and always has been that Republicans, especially Trump, aren’t doing anything for veterans. 

They are sending more and more troops like us overseas in endless wars, deporting our veteran brothers and sisters, and refusing to enact policies like a $15 living minimum wage and universal high-quality healthcare that vets need when they come home. 

That’s why we formed Common Defense: to fight against Donald Trump, the criminal in the White House, and organize the millions of progressive veterans across the country to win a better future that works for all of us, not just the wealthy few.

Thank you for your support, 

Alex McCoy is a US Marine Corps Veteran and a member of Common Defense

Court Fines Trump $2 Million for Diverting Money From Veterans Fundraiser to His Campaign

Benjamin Hart / New York Magazine

NEW YORK (November 7, 2019) — A judge ordered President Trump to pay $2 million to a group of charities on Thursday, ruling that the president had broken the law by directing the proceeds from an event advertised as benefiting veterans to his presidential campaign instead.

The lawsuit stems from the wild days of the 2016 Republican primary. Because of a feud he maintained with Fox News at the time, Trump decided to skip a debate hosted by the network just before the Iowa caucuses in January 2016, and hold his own, competing event instead — a televised fundraiser for veterans.

Shockingly enough, it turned out the event wasn’t quite on the level. Rather than having the foundation run the event and direct all proceeds to the charities, as promised, Trump did something quite different. As New York State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla put it in her decision on Thursday:

“Mr. Trump’s fiduciary duty breaches included allowing his campaign to orchestrate the Fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the Foundation, to direct distribution of the Funds, and using the Fundraiser and distribution of the Funds to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign.”

The lawsuit was brought by New York State attorney general Barbara Underwood, who announced last year that the Trump Organization would shut down amid her investigations into its well-documented chicanery. Though Trump had said on Twitter that he would fight the fundraiser case, his lawyers and the state have been in talks for months to negotiate a settlement.

It’s a loss for Trump, but $2 million is a minor blow in his universe — and the judge could have been harsher. She decided not to impose any punitive damages on the president, nor impose lifetime bans on him and his children from serving on the boards of New York–based charities in the future, conditions the state had been seeking. (Though she did put into place other restrictions involving his future charitable endeavors.)

Trump suffered another legal setback on Monday, when a federal appeals court ordered him to produce eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns, in a case likely headed for the Supreme Court.

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