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Donald Trump fined £1.6m for misusing charity foundation

Simmering: Donald Trump at rally PICTURE: AP

DONALD TRUMP has been ordered to pay $2million (£1.6million) to settle a lawsuit alleging he misused his charitable foundation to further his political and business interests.

New York supreme court judge Saliann Scarpulla said the president breached his duty to the Trump Foundation by allowing staff to plan a fundraiser for veterans’ in the run-up to the 2016 election.

He also signed off an agreement to close the Trump Foundation and split around £1.3million in remaining funds to other charities.

The Trump Foundation called the lawsuit politically motivated.

New York attorney general Letitia James said: ‘No one is above the law. Not even the president.’ The ruling came hours after Mr Trump accused ‘corrupt’ Democrats of pursuing a ‘deranged witch-hunt’ ahead of next week’s first public hearings of an impeachment inquiry.

At a rally in Louisiana, he said Americans were ‘fed up with Democrat lies, hoaxes, slanders and scams’, and called the inquiry ‘delusional and destructive’.

In private hearings, witness William Taylor, a top diplomat in Ukraine, said Mr Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless it investigated unfounded claims about presidential rival Joe Biden and a Ukrainian gas firm, for which Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, worked.

Mr Trump denies any wrongdoing.