Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

President Donald Trump stands surrounded by his son Eric Trump, daughter Ivanka, and son Donald Trump Jr. ahead of a press conference in Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 11, 2017. (Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Rejecting Claim of Presidential Immunity, Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Trump Foundation to Proceed

"The Trump Foundation functioned as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests."

Jake Johnson

Rejecting the immunity defense put forth by President Donald Trump's lawyers, a New York state judge on Friday ruled that a lawsuit accusing Trump and members of his family of using their "charitable" foundation as nothing more than a personal "piggy bank" can proceed.

Filed in June by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, the suit alleges that Trump engaged in "persistently illegal conduct" by using the Trump Foundation as a vehicle to advance his political and business aims. The lawsuit seeks to dissolve the Trump Foundation entirely.

"The Trump Foundation functioned as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests. There are rules that govern private foundations, and we intend to enforce them—no matter who runs the foundation," Underwood wrote in a tweet on Friday.

New York's lawsuit is the product of a two-year investigation into the Trump Foundation, which allegedly uncovered widespread and "knowing" violations of campaign finance laws and other regulations.

Though Trump's lawyers argued that a "sitting president may not be sued," but New York state Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled on Friday that the president's legal team "failed to cite a single case" supporting its defense.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

After Kids Killed in Texas, Dems Declare 'Pass Gun Safety Legislation Now'

"Congress has a moral responsibility to end gun violence now," said Sen. Ed Markey. "To those who refuse to act, there are no excuses. Only complicity and shame."

Jessica Corbett ·


At Least 19 Children, 2 Adults Killed in Texas Elementary School Shooting

"This has become part of who we are as a country," said Julián Castro. "The free availability of guns has not made us safer in the United States or here in the state of Texas."

Brett Wilkins ·


House Dems to Pelosi: Hold Vote for Bill Expanding Social Security

"It is Congress' responsibility to ensure that Social Security's benefits are protected and improved," says a letter to the speaker. "It's time we deliver."

Jessica Corbett ·


Two Years After George Floyd Murder, Biden to Issue Executive Order on Police Reform

"The entire culture and mentality needs to change to bring these words to life, and to save lives," said one civil liberties advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'Wholesale Fraud' in Michigan Governor Race Could Disqualify GOP Candidates

"It looks like the Republican clown car may be losing a few occupants."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo