Last night TPM Reader AL sent in a timeline for the Trump/Bondi story in the key months from August to October 2013. I’ve verified the details and the links. So I’m including the timeline here after the jump.
August 23, 2013
Donald Trump’s attorneys “launched an aggressive campaign against New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, as the state’s chief law-enforcement officer continues an investigation into the billionaire’s education company.” —WSJ, Aug. 23, 2016
(This is one day before AG Schneiderman filed the suit.)
Mid-Late August 2013
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi “personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump” “several weeks” before Bondi’s “office publicly announced it was deliberating whether to join a multi-state lawsuit proposed by New York’s Democratic attorney general.”
” ‘The process took at least several weeks, from the time they spoke to the time they received the contribution,’ Reichelderfer told AP.” —AP, June 6, 2016
ca. Sept. 10, 2013
Ivanka Trump donates $500 to Bondi (or the PAC?) “a week before her father’s money was reported as being received.” —AP, June 6, 2016
Sept. 13, 2013
Bondi “publicly announced she was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University’s activities.” —AP, June 6, 2016
Sept. 17, 2013
And Justice For All, political group backing Bondi, “reported receiving” the $25,000 check from Trump foundation. —AP, June 6, 2016
Sept. or October, 2013
“In 2013, [Trump] wouldn’t answer Times/Herald questions about why he was contributing to an attorney general’s race in Florida. But he did release a statement calling Bondi ‘a fabulous representative of the people’ and Schneiderman ‘a political hack.’ ” —Tampa Bay Times, March 14, 2016
“In 2013, Trump acknowledged making the contribution.
Asked specifically about the Trump Foundation donation in an email from theTimes/Herald, he said at the time: ‘Pam Bondi is a fabulous representative of the people — Florida is lucky to have her.’ ” —Tampa Bay Times, March 22, 2016
What AL doesn’t include in the timeline, but did reference in his note, was this note from TPM Reader AA, who pointed to the following: not long before Trump’s payment to Bondi and around the time they apparently spoke, Trump was publicly accusing Schneiderman of shaking him down for political contributions to kill the lawsuit.
There’s no evidence this was the case – we know nothing about this at all. But it does show that right at the time he was having his chat with Bondi – which he now appears to say never happened – the idea of killing Trump University lawsuits with campaign contributions to Attorney Generals was very much on his mind.