Over the last few weeks, The Washington Post has undergone an ongoing investigation on the Trump Foundation where they have found numerous violations. These possible violations are against IRS law, and appear to show various incorrect tax paperwork forms and even charity money being used to buy items for Trump himself. Donald Trump’s charity and his boasting of self-funding for his campaign have been a major part of his self marketing in the political race, and a big reason why many have come to like him. But with these recent allegations of fraud his credibility as a presidential candidate can potentially be harmed.
(Donald speaking during a recent campaign rally in Wilmington, Ohio. Photo courtesy of the Washington Post)
Last week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced his office had launched an ongoing investigation on the Donald J. Trump Foundation to see if the non-profit is “complying with the laws governing charities in New York” (Wilkie, Huffington Post). This is not the first time Schneiderman has come into contact with Trump allegations, his first accusation came in 2013 against Trump University. The university was being ran illegally according to New York education law. “We have a law against running an illegal unlicensed university. This never was a university. The fraud started with the name of the organization (Trump University)” said Schneiderman, it was“A fraud from beginning to end”.
(Trump stands proud next to his self proclaimed university’s logo. Photo courtesy of motherjones.com)
This is also not the first time the IRS has been involved with Trump’s business. In 2013 Pam Bondi, a Florida Attorney General, was considering an investigation under Trump University because of promises the university gave to students about classes that never existed, and refunds that were not given back to enrolled students. Coincidentally in 2014 Donald held a $3,000 per person fundraiser for Bondi in Trump’s Palm Beach mansion. This PR stunt by Trump was used not only to gain money towards Bondi’s campaign, but to also shed light and influence more popularity towards Donalds contribution to the Republican Party in Florida before his upcoming presidential campaign. Donald and his daughter, Ivanka, became Bondi’s biggest campaign funders as well, donationg hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bondi and the Florida Republican party. The IRS became involved because Trump used his charity foundation to make a political contribution to the Florida General Attorney. Trump was charged only $2,500 by the IRS for this illegal contribution.
(Trump and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald)
This sort of potential political bribing is contradictory to the Trump campaigns rhetorical approach on self-funding and no outside source funding from political figures. This history of sketchy business schemes Trump handles has been pressed by the media for a long time, and it comes in no surprise that another investigation has come up into play amongst Trump’s charity foundation. During the investigation the Post was able to find that the Trump Foundation has been receiving donations from charities, writing his name on the check and sending it to another charity. This has allowed him to donate without much of his own money at all. The Trump Foundation “is a charity that allowed a rich man to be philanthropic for free” the Washington Post stated. In fact, it was found that Trump has not donated his own money to his namesake foundation since 2008 (Drew Griffin, CNN). In an article written by Harper Neidig on the Hill, the Trump foundation was also found to have been funneling money to fulfill promises made by Trump on his reality TV show “The Apprentice”. It is said that NBC donated $500,000 in 2012 to cover Trump’s “personal” contributions he pledged on air.
Throughout US history, there have been allegations and stories on corrupt politicians. And Donald Trump is not the only politician to blame here. It always seems to me that the rhetoric in politicians gets lost once money is involved, and they are able to get out of trouble because of the money they obtain and the power they have achieved. As free people of the United States we need to question the ethos and logos of these leaders, and find the truth in their political motivation. This year’s 2016 presidential campaign is one of the most important and controversial elections of our generation’s time. How can we make sure we vote for the most credible and valuable commander in chief for our country? Question those who think they know the answers, and we will make sure America stays as great as it has always been.
Comment below and let us know how you feel about this investigation and upcoming election!