President-elect Trump says that he will be shutting down his charity foundation “to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president.”
He is also considering a plan to hire an outside monitor for his business interests, which operate under the umbrella of the Trump Organization, as well as the subsidiary run by his daughter, Ivanka Trump. A trustee could potentially “block inappropriate contacts between the companies and the federal government,” the New York Times reports.
The Donald J. Trump Foundation has been a persistent source of controversy for Trump. During the campaign the Washington Post reported that it had used foundation money to settle unrelated legal disputes, to make a political contribution, to buy advertising promoting the for-profit Trump Organization, and to buy a portrait of Trump himself at a charity auction.
In its annual government filings for 2015 the foundation admitted to breaking the laws around “self-dealing” for both that year and in prior years. That is to say, it admitted to spending foundation money illegally.
The foundation is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office. A spokeswoman for that office told the Washington Post that the foundation legally couldn’t fully dissolve until its investigation is completed.