On Christmas Eve 2016, President-elect Trump announced that "to avoid even the appearance of any conflict" he would direct his attorney to shut down his charitable foundation.
In December, Trump vowed to close the organisation to avoid any conflicts of interest, after it was the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of reports in 2016 by The Washington Post. In a separate report, the Wall Street Journal reported the organization raised $2.8 million in 2016, about three times the amount it raised the year before, thanks largely to a fundraiser for veterans groups. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
A spokesperson for the NY state attorney general's office told NBC News that the foundation cannot shut down while it is now under investigation, which could potentially complicate the dissolution.
The foundation, with assets of under $1 million, "looks forward to distributing its remaining assets at the earliest possible time to aid numerous worthy charitable organisations", a spokesman told NBC News. Schneiderman ordered the Trump Foundation to cease all fundraising in October 2016. The foundation was under investigation during the 2016 U.S. presidential election after it was discovered that it may have misused its funds, including allegedly using it to settle lawsuits.
While he "hoped" that his foundation was operating legally, there have been persistent questions about its ethics, between "self-dealing" on their IRS forms and potentially violating IRS rules by raising money for the Trump presidential campaign. "As the foundation is still under investigation by this office, it can not legally dissolve until that investigation is complete", said Spitalnick.
A spokeswoman for the foundation said that the funds had not yet been distributed and that it would seek approval from Mr. Schneiderman's office before donating any more.