Trump to shut charity foundation amid probe

WASHINGTON • United States President-elect Donald Trump has said he intends to dissolve his controversial philanthropic foundation to avoid conflicts of interest, but the move was quickly complicated by an ongoing legal probe.

Mr Trump gave no timeline for winding down the Donald J. Trump Foundation, but said in a statement that he wanted "to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President". He directed his counsel to take the necessary steps for the dissolution.

Mr Trump's private foundation has been at the centre of several controversies - including how much money he has actually given it - and is under investigation by New York Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman. A spokesman for the Attorney-General's Office said last Saturday that Mr Trump cannot shut the foundation while the investigation is ongoing.

Mr Schneiderman's office had in October directed the foundation to stop taking donations, saying it had violated state law requiring charitable organisations that solicit outside donations to register with a state office.

The order followed a series of reports in The Washington Post that suggested improprieties by the foundation, including using its funds to settle legal disputes involving Trump businesses.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2016, with the headline 'Trump to shut charity foundation amid probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe