Michael Reagan's July 14 Newsmax column, co-written with Michael R. Shannon, is so slavishly devoted to following in the footsteps of Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy in defending the Trump Foundation over allegations of impropriety that he actually quotes Ruddy:
After state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in disgrace his placeholder Barbara Underwood took up the cudgel and continued bashing the president. She accused the president’s Trump Foundation of “persistent illegal conduct” continuing for more than a decade.
Proving that the lawsuit is simply a political strategy dressed up in a statute book, the trial is scheduled for a date just prior to the November mid-term election. What’s more, the attack and the timing has the total support of the judge in charge of the show trial. The New Yorker reported that when a Trump Foundation lawyer asked that the case be delayed due to the trial’s proximity to the election, the judge thought the request was funny.
“Judge Scarpulla laughed in response [to the Trump request], did not change the trial date, and hinted that she is likely to require the president to testify.”
These shenanigans caught the attention of Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy who has known the president for a number of years.
Ruddy points out the Trump foundation is almost unique in that it donated more money than it received in contributions: $19.2 million in donations after receiving $18.8 in contributions.
As we pointed out when Ruddy went into defense mode, the point of the investigation is not whether the foundation paid out more than it took in -- it's about apparent self-dealing in receipt and distribution of funds.It appears much of the foundation's money came from people and organizations that did business with Trump, foundation money went to settle legal disputes with his businesses, and some donations went to organizations that rented out his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.
Reagan then made an apples-and-oranges comparison to the Clinton Foundation:
Compare that to the Clinton Foundation, which vacuumed up $500 million in contributions from 2009 to 2012 and only donated $75 million to unaffiliated charities.
The “persistent[ly] illegal” Trump Foundation was also strange in that it spent not one thin dime on salaries and its overhead costs can be measured with an electron microscope. While the Clinton Foundation serves as the Human Resources department for Hillary’s various campaigns and spent $110 million on salaries during the same time period. And another astounding $290 million went to “other expenses.”
We agree there is a foundation based in New York State that deserves close scrutiny from the AG’s office, but it is not the foundation named after Trump.
Reagan apparent got his numbers from the right-wing Federalist website and Rush Limbaugh, which is an indicator of how they are designed to mislead. But the Clinton Foundation is a global public charity, compared with the family-run Trump Foundation. As a group that actually cares about facts reports, the Clinton Foundation conducts most of its charity in-house and doesn't need to donate to outside groups, and the salary money mostly pays for people actually doing the foundation's charity work. Experts on charities say the Clinton Foundation's spending is not out of line with other charities in good standing.
Reagan concludes by calling the Trump Foundation investigation a "kangaroo prosecution." But that's exactly what he wants against the Clinton Foundation.