New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is “looking into” a charitable foundation founded by Eric Trump, a spokesman for Schneiderman said, after Forbes magazine raised questions about whether President Trump's son had made misleading statements about how the foundation spent its money.
The New York attorney general has jurisdiction over charities in the state, where Eric Trump's foundation is registered. Schneiderman's office would say little about this new inquiry, other than to report that it was at an early stage and could not be considered a formal investigation.
“The attorney general's office is looking into issues at the Eric Trump Foundation raised by the Forbes report,” said spokesman Eric Soufer in a written statement.
One item at issue, the attorney general's office said, was that the Eric Trump Foundation has rebranded itself “Curetivity” and held a fundraiser under that name. But, after a query from The Washington Post on Friday morning, the attorney general's office said the charity had not officially changed its name with New York charity regulators.
The main impetus for this inquiry was the Forbes story, published earlier this week. It examined the Eric Trump Foundation's tradition of holding fundraiser golf tournaments at Trump-owned courses. Although Eric Trump had asserted repeatedly that his father's company allowed him to use the courses free, Forbes found evidence that the Eric Trump Foundation has actually paid the Trump Organization to use them.
"In a statement, a spokeswoman for Eric Trump wrote that his foundation would "cooperate fully with the Attorney General's review."
The foundation"looks forward to a productive and open dialogue with the Attorney General's Office to address any questions it may have," spokeswoman Amanda Miller said.
Schneiderman's office is already investigating the president's own name-branded foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation. A series of stories in The Post last year revealed instances in which Trump had used his charity's money to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses or to buy portraits of himself. That investigation is ongoing, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman said Friday.