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Trump pays $2 million for misusing his charity, New York attorney general says

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By Dartunorro Clark  with NBC News Politics
Image: President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump.   -   Copyright  Loren Elliott Reuters

President Donald Trump has paid $2 million in a court-ordered judgment for misusing his charity, New York attorney general Letitia James said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Not only has the Trump Foundation shut down for its misconduct, but the president has been forced to pay $2 million for misusing charitable funds for his own political gain," said James. "Charities are not a means to an end, which is why these damages speak to the president's abuse of power and represent a victory for not-for-profits that follow the law."

Last month, a federal judge ordered Trump to pay to pay $2 million in damages after the foundation admitted in a settlement that the president personally misused foundation funds to help his 2016 presidential campaign, settle personal legal disputes and buyportraits of himself and sports memorabilia.

The $2 million will go to eight different charities: Army Emergency Relief; the Children's Aid Society; Citymeals-on-Wheels; Give an Hour; Martha's Table; the United Negro College Fund; the United Way of National Capital Area; and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Trump also agreed to distribute the remaining $1.8 million left in the foundation's coffers those same charities.

Each charity will receive a total of $476,140.41. The settlement also called for mandatory training requirements for the now-defunct foundation's directors — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, which James said each has undergone.

"Funds have finally gone where they deserve — to eight credible charities. My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the president of the United States," James said.

Alan Futerfas, an attorney for The Trump Organization, said that the company is satisfied with the outcome.

"The Foundation case settled weeks ago with all issues resolved and all funds going to charity. We are very pleased with the result," he said in an email to NBC News.

The Trump Foundation, the charitable organization started by Trump in 1987, agreed to disband in 2018 and give away its assets after a probe by then-acting New York attorney general Barbara Underwood revealed a "shocking pattern of illegality" that included "unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more."

James took over the case in 2019 when she was sworn in as attorney general and continued the lawsuit against Trump and three of his eldest children, who served on the charity, and barred them from serving on any charities in New York state.