A watchdog group with ties to Democrats has asked the IRS to investigate Donald Trump's charitable foundation over a report that Trump used money meant for charity to buy a football helmet signed by former NFL star Tim Tebow.
"What's unambiguous is that Mr. Trump ... manager and fiduciary of the Foundation's charitable assets, used Foundation dollars to purchase football memorabilia that he personally coveted," wrote Brad Woodhouse of the American Democracy Legal Fund, in a letter to the IRS. Woodhouse is a longtime Democratic operative.
The liberal watchdog said that Trump appeared to have violated rules against "self-dealing," which are designed to keep charity leaders from using their nonprofits to help themselves. It asked that the IRS open an investigation, which could lead to tax penalties for Trump, the foundation's president.
Trump's use of charity money to buy the helmet was first reported July 1 by The Washington Post.
The purchase occurred in early 2012, when Tebow was at the peak of his brief NFL career, leading the Denver Broncos to the playoffs. At a charity auction for the breast-cancer-fighting Susan G. Komen organization, Trump won a bidding war for a Tebow-signed helmet and Tebow jersey.
The winning bid was $12,000.
But Trump did not pay with his own money.
It's just getting good at the Washington Post.