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The Legal Status Of Donald Trump's Charity Is Questionable

The Trump Foundation never obtained the proper registration in New York, where the charity is based.

By Lindsey Pulse | September 30, 2016

Donald Trump's charity foundation might not be playing by the rules. The organization reportedly never got the right certification to solicit money from the public.

Under New York law, charities that solicit more than $25,000 per year from the public have to complete a special registration. Among other things, it requires charities to undergo annual audits.

The Washington Post — citing the New York attorney general's office — says the Donald J. Trump Foundation never went through that registration.

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SEE MORE: Fact-Checking The Wildest Things Said About The Clinton Foundation

If that's true, it might mean the organization is operating illegally — we know it raises more than $25,000 per year, but we don't know how much of that was solicited.

Of course, Trump's political opponent has also been criticized over her foundation's dealings. The Clinton Foundation has been accused of accepting donations that present conflicts of interest, including some from foreign governments. And it hasn't always disclosed all of its donors like it promised to do.

Earlier this week, Trump launched a "follow the money" attack accusing Hillary Clinton of corruption.

And the Clinton Foundation has returned the favor. In mid-September, it released a statement calling Trump "a fraud."

It reads, "Clearly the Trump Foundation is as much a charitable organization as Trump University is an institute of higher education."

The New York attorney general's office is already investigating the Trump Foundation, but it wouldn't tell The Post whether it's looking into the registration issue. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

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