Amazing Find About Trump’s Thinking on AG Payoffs

September 5, 2016 5:24 p.m.

TPM Reader AA flags that just as Trump was cutting his check to Pam Bondi he was claiming that the New York Attorney General asked for contributions to kill the Trump University lawsuit …

Neither you nor The Post’s David Fahrenthold have yet made the connection to this Aug 23, 2013 article in the WSJ.

Quoting from that 9/23/2013 article:

Mr. Trump’s attorneys also accused Mr. Schneiderman and his surrogates of soliciting campaign donations from Mr. Trump’s family members and employees during the probe. According to state records, Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump gave Mr. Schneiderman’s campaign $500 in December 2012. In April 2013, Michael Cohen, the Trump Organization’s executive vice president and special counsel, gave the campaign $1,000.

So according to Trump’s attorney himself, the donations to the NY Attorney General, while an investigation is in progress, are prima facia evidence of a shake down. Unfortunately for Trump, his accusations just don’t hold water. The timeline for those donations and the date the case was filed just don’t line up. And the amounts donated were insignificant and the donations came from disinterested third-parties, not Trump himself.

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On the other hand, the date of that article (9/23/2013) and the date of the Trump’s conversation with Bondi are very significant. Bondi solicited the donation from Trump about a week or two before he sent check (I don’t know the exact date). And, almost immediately, Trump made his $25,000 donation to Bondi on Sep 17, 2013.

In other words, almost immediately after he publicly accused Schneiderman of a donation shake down, he’s approached by Bondi for a donation. Trump already knows a investigation is in progress in Florida. So what does he do. Does he reject the solicitation and accuse Bondi of a shake down. Nope. Instead he makes a sizable donation. And Bondi kills the investigation almost immediately.

When Bondi solicits Trump for a donation, how could someone like Trump not be thinking that Bondi has heard about the NY case and is shaking him down.

The only difference between the NY scenario and the FL scenario is that Trump got exactly what he wanted from FL (and kept his mouth shut about it).

BUT, in NY scenario, the shake down is either figment of Trump’s imagination, or Trump thinks it was real and is upset that he didn’t get his money’s worth.

More than a month later Trump was still claiming that Schneiderman or representatives of Schneiderman were asking for campaign contributions as evidence of Schneiderman’s corruption.

Mr. Trump also said that Mr. Schneiderman was asking for campaign donations while assuring Trump officials that the case was weak and wouldn’t move forward.

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