Just 1 day after slapping the Trump Foundation with a cease-and-desist letter, the New York Attorney General’s office has confirmed that the Clinton Foundation failed to file 3 years worth of supplemental tax forms related to the required disclosure of “donors and contributors” to the New York State Charities Bureau. Of course, the attorney general’s office went to great lengths to quietly explain to CNN that the whole thing was just another honest mistake resulting from the overwhelming complexity of the Clinton Foundation.
Late Tuesday, a spokesman for the New York attorney general’s office acknowledged some of those financial statements had been missing. The confusion arose, the spokesman said, because of a merger between the foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual conference which had its final session in New York City last month.
“The Clinton Foundation was required to file these statements for CGI in 2012, prior to CGI’s merger with the Clinton Foundation in 2013,” a spokesman told CNN. “Today, the Clinton Foundation filed supplementary Statements of Financial Position and Activities for CHAI for 2012-14 and the requisite supplementary Statements for CGI for 2012.”
Though oddly enough, this admission from the NY attorney general’s office wasn’t accompanied by a tweet bragging about the discovery…shocking.
My office sent a Notice of Violation to the Trump Foundation. More information, and the letter, here: https://t.co/vv6Q2BevUw
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) October 3, 2016
Meanwhile, officials from the Clinton Foundation also confirmed the “oversight” to CNN:
But officials from the foundation also said: “It has come to our attention that the copies of the Clinton Foundation’s consolidated audit reports filed with the Charities Bureau from 2012-2014 may not have included certain supplementary financial information related to affiliates of the Foundation.”
Foundation officials say “while we are not yet certain if this information is required to be filed,” the foundation will do so “out an abundance of caution.”
New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton, has drawn a lot of criticism for targeting the Trump Foundation while refusing to look into various allegations, including these filing omissions, surrounding the Clinton Foundation. In fact, Hans von Spakovsky, of the Heritage Foundation, recently wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal pointing out the inherent conflict of interest.
Mr. Schneiderman’s office, in a letter sent Friday and released Monday, ordered the Donald J. Trump Foundation to cease raising money in New York. According to the letter, the Trump outfit is not correctly registered in the state to solicit funds.
The AG gave the foundation 15 days to turn over reams of paper, including audited financial statements and annual financial reports going back many years. Mr. Schneiderman warned in his letter that failure to comply will be deemed a “fraud upon the people of the state of New York.”
The announcement is Mr. Schneiderman’s latest misuse of his prosecutorial authority to attack his political enemies. The AG’s office first announced it was “investigating” Mr. Trump in mid-September—the better to begin a round of bad headlines—and has also been touting its inquiry into Trump University. While it’s possible the Trump Foundation has violated in some way “section 172 of Article 7-A New York’s Executive Law,” it’s notable that the best Mr. Schneiderman could drum up by way of “fraud” was a paperwork technicality.
The bigger point is timing. Mr. Schneiderman’s cease-and-desist order, coming a month before a general election, smells like partisan politics. The AG has endorsed Mrs. Clinton and sits on the Democratic nominee’s New York “leadership council,” which the Clinton campaign describes as the “in-state leadership” for her campaign, charged with “amplifying the campaign’s national voice to New York families” and “aiding the campaign with rapid response.”
Not one to shy away from exhibiting his overt conflict of interest, Schneiderman also helped Clinton with fact checks after the first presidential debate…
My office released a report illustrating the ineffectiveness of #StopandFrisk in #NYC Check it out to get the facts: https://t.co/EgHqzAfp47
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) September 27, 2016
…boasted about a $50k levy imposed on a Trump hotel business for a data breach…
Trump Hotel Collection will pay $50K in penalties following data breach exposing over 70K credit card numbers: https://t.co/ZIrIUJtv7x
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) September 23, 2016