CREW filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting that it investigate whether The Donald J. Trump Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, violated its status as a tax-exempt private foundation by participating in the presidential campaign of its president, Donald J. Trump, and by advocating for Mr. Trump’s nomination and election.
The Trump Foundation appears to have participated in Mr. Trump’s campaign in several ways. In January 2016, Mr. Trump used the Trump Foundation as part of a campaign event he organized and hosted to raise funds for veterans groups. Millions of dollars collected from the event were given to the Trump Foundation, with much of that money donated through a website that directed the collected funds to the Trump Foundation, with much of that money donated through a website that directed the collected funds to the Trump Foundation. Mr. Trump’s campaign also selected and screened some of the groups that received grants from the foundation, and arranged for several of the groups to publicly receive ceremonial Trump Foundation checks from Mr. Trump himself as part of campaign events.
Moreover, the Trump Foundation effectively advocated for Mr. Trump’s nomination and election when it printed his campaign slogan — “Make America Great Again!” — on those ceremonial checks presented to veterans groups at campaign rallies. Accordingly, the IRS should investigate whether the Trump Foundation’s conduct violated the tax code.