“[Letitia James] decided to investigate my husband’s charity despite the fact that it had one of the lowest expense ratios of any private charity in America, and unfortunately, guess who was hurt by that? It wasn’t my husband,” Lara Trump’s husband being Ewic Trump, the guy who was ostensibly running the corrupt Trump Organization. “It’s the kids of St. Jude. Who knows have died unnecessarily thanks to her investigation and her, uh, uh, vitriol for anyone with the last name Trump.”
This is obviously a lie, but let’s review why: Eric Trump’s foundation was under scrutiny for a number of things, but Lara’s biggest lie is that Letitia James headed, directed or ordered the investigation. See, the investigation happened in 2018, when Barbara Underwood was New York’s Attorney General; it had started under Eric Schneiderman in 2017.
Various complaints came in about broken promises the charity made, including the statement from Eric Trump himself that he was able to lower cost-to-donation ratios by using Trump properties for fundraisers, whose services Eric implied would be donated to lower costs. However, the Eric Trump Foundation records showed that over a three-year period, the Foundation had paid more than half a million dollars to Trump properties for hosting fundraisers. Additionally, while Eric Trump and others represented all the money would go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Eric decided to send some of the money–reports say it was around $500,000–to other organizations, the overwhelming majority of which had direct connections to other Trump family members.
Contemporaneously in 2017, Forbes reported that while initial costs for an Eric Trump Foundation charity golf tournament at one of Trump’s courses in Westchester, New York reported costs of around $50,000 each year from 2007 to 2010, but those expenses started rising: in 2011, the cost was about $145,000, but then it shot up to roughly a quarter million dollars by 2013 and 2014.
Forbes reports that Donald Trump himself demanded the tournament pay facility rental fees. “Mr. Trump had a cow. He flipped. He was like, ‘We’re donating all of this stuff, and there’s no paper trail? No credit?’ And he went nuts. He said, ‘I don’t care if it’s my son or not–everybody gets billed,'” a former manager Trump’s Westchester club told Forbes.
And let’s not forget that Eric was on the board of his father’s foundation that was shut down in 2018 after multiple episodes of self-dealing and mismanagement of funds were uncovered. Eric–along with siblings Junior and Princess–were required to take courses before they could sit on a non-profit registered in New York State again.