Earlier this week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a cease and desist order to the Trump Foundation for operating without proper registration in that state.
New York law dictates that any charity that solicits more than $25,000 a year needs to register with the state. The New York order requires the foundation to stop raising money until it properly registers, which requires it to provide annual financial reports and financial statements.
Will it lead to a similar investigation in Connecticut?
At the moment, the Department of Consumer Protection, which oversees the registration of charities said the Trump Foundation is not registered in Connecticut either. However, that doesn’t mean it’s out of compliance with Connecticut law.
Even though Connecticut residents may have contributed to the foundation, the only thing that would trigger its required registration is active solicitation in the state. At this time, the legislative director for the Department of Consumer Protection said there’s no indication that the foundation is actively soliciting in Connecticut.
“Our office has not received any complaints about the Trump Foundation, and we are not engaged in any investigation of the Trump Foundation at this time,” Jaclyn Falkowski, a spokeswoman for Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, said.
The Trump Foundation and the Clinton Foundation have both come under scrutiny as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton vie for the presidency.
The Clinton Foundation is registered in Connecticut as a public charity with the Department of Consumer Protection under the “Bill Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.”
The Trump Foundation came under scrutiny earlier this year when he skipped a presidential debate and hosted a charity event for veterans instead. He claimed to have raised $6 million for veterans’ organizations. The Daily Beast tracked how the money was doled out to various veterans groups before, after, and during various campaign rallies.
The mixing of the foundation activities with politics could be dangerous because charities, which are tax-exempt, are not allowed to engage in any political speech.
Hope Hicks, Trump’s campaign spokeswoman, said Monday in a statement that they’re concerned about the “political motives” behind the investigation in New York. However, “The Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.”