U.S. judge in Trump Foundation case rebuffs political bias defense

 U.S. judge in Trump Foundation case rebuffs political bias defense

(Reuters) - A New York judge said on Thursday that she would not entertain arguments that political bias was behind a lawsuit alleging the president unlawfully used his personal charity to help his 2016 campaign and to benefit his businesses.

"I don't want to get involved with that," New York Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla said at a hearing after an attorney for Trump started to question the New York attorney general's motives.

"The allegations are what they are. Until you deny them I accept them," the judge said.

The hearing focused on a motion submitted by President Donald Trump's lawyers in August asking the judge to dismiss the case on the grounds the lawsuit was politically motivated and arguing Trump and his children did not break any laws.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood sued Trump, three of his children and his namesake foundation in June, saying he illegally used the nonprofit as a personal "checkbook" for his own benefit, including his 2016 presidential campaign.

The lawsuit seeks to dissolve the Trump foundation, recoup $2.8 million, and prohibit Trump and his children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka from leadership roles in New York charities.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; Editing by Michael Perry and Tom Brown)

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Updated Date: Oct 26, 2018 00:07:18 IST