Donald Trump appears to have spent thousands of dollars in charity funds to purchase sports memorabilia at a 2012 Susan G. Komen breast cancer fundraiser, potentially violating IRS law and providing yet another example of the faint stench of immorality that often lingers around Trump's charitable endeavors.
The items in question were a jersey and a helmet, the latter signed by the then-popular NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. And while Trump himself raised the proverbial auction paddle and placed the $12,000 winning bid, research by The Washington Post indicates it was the Donald J. Trump Foundation -- not The Donald himself -- that foot the bill.
Whether or not this was an explicit breach of tax law hangs on what the presumptive GOP nominee did with the football gear after that January night in Palm Beach, California.
If Trump kept the items for himself, it is indeed a violation -- after all, those dollars surely weren’t donated to help a billionaire freshen up his jersey collection. Trump likely would have needed to repurpose the signed memorabilia by donating it to another charity in order to avoid, per The Post, “self-dealing” IRS regulations, “which are designed to keep nonprofit officials from using their charities to help themselves.”
Trump with his signed helmet at the 2012 fundraiser.
Trump denied the “self-dealing” on that year’s tax form -- nonetheless, it remains unclear what the candidate has done with the memorabilia.
In a classic case of kismet, Tebow’s on-field performances -- and thus the value of his autographed gear -- plateaued and then plummeted effectively as soon as Trump placed the winning bid. And while Tebow is now out of the NFL and far from the limelight, Trump’s muddy charitable dealings are finally getting the spotlight they deserve.