Trump Wants to Shut Down His Charity Foundation, But Can’t Due to Ongoing Investigation

In December 2016, Donald Trump promised to terminate his charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, in order to avoid any possible conflicts of interest during his presidency. In an effort to make good on that promise, the Foundation announced its intent to shut down in a 2016 IRS document that was submitted this month.

There’s just one problem: the Donald J. Trump Foundation is currently under investigation, and the New York Attorney General’s Office isn’t going to let the Foundation dissolve until that investigation concludes.

“As the Foundation is still under investigation by this office, it cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” said Amy Spitalnick, the attorney general’s press secretary.

In October 2016, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered the Donald J. Trump Foundation to stop soliciting donations following a report that it lacked the proper authorization to do so. An investigation was launched after the Foundation admitted to having violated federal laws on “self-dealing” in its 2015 tax filing. These laws forbid nonprofit leaders from diverting charity funds to themselves, their businesses, or families.

A spokesperson for the Foundation confirmed that it is currently under investigation, but maintained that the organization is cooperating with officials:

“The Foundation continues to cooperate with the New York Attorney General’s Charities Division, and as previously announced by the President, his advisers are working with the Charities Division to wind up the affairs of the Foundation. The Foundation looks forward to distributing its remaining assets at the earliest possible time to aid numerous worthy charitable organizations.”

There is still no word on when the investigation is expected to conclude. When it does, the Donald J. Trump Foundation will distribute its remaining funds to other charitable organizations. The Foundation reported assets of about $970,000 at the end of 2016. Representatives from the Foundation have yet to announce which charities will receive the funds.