Aug. 31 (UPI) — Lawyers for the Trump Foundation sought to have a lawsuit against the organization by the New York attorney general’s office dismissed on grounds that it was politically motivated.
The team filed a motion Thursday in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, saying former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman showed bias against President Donald Trump. Schneiderman resigned in May, one month before the office of the new New York attorney general, Barbara Underwood, filed a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation.
The investigation into the foundation began in September 2016 at the urging of Schneiderman, who voiced support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.
“The appearance of bias and impropriety on the part of this governmental agency, charged with impartial decision-making, is simply overwhelming,” Trump’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, wrote. “The NYAG should have recused itself long ago. It did not and, instead, brought an action it never otherwise would have but for its long-standing very public and very political, antipathy towards” Trump.
In June, Underwood filed a lawsuit naming the president and his children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump. Prosecutors point to a “pattern of illegal conduct” by the organization for more than a decade — including unlawful political coordination with Trump’s presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit personal and business interests and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations.
Trump’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit accused Schneiderman of being on a “mission to ‘lead the resistance’ and attack Mr. Trump whenever possible.”
In July, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance opened its own investigation into the Trump Foundation to determine whether the charitable organization violated state tax laws by transferring assets or misrepresenting tax liability and tax assignment.