Trump Held Fundraiser For Florida AG After She Dropped Trump U Probe

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is greeted by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi as she introduces him to speak at a campaign event in Tampa, Fla., Monday, March 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Donald Trump not only donated $25,000 to the Florida attorney general weighing whether to investigate Trump University, but held a lavish fundraiser for her at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, according to a Huffington Post report out Wednesday.

The real estate mogul hosted a $3,000-per-person fundraiser for Pam Bondi in March 2014, HuffPo reported. While Trump did not write a check at that event, other donors in attendance boosted Bondi’s campaign war chest, and he charged the Florida GOP just $4,855.65 for use of the resort. He has charged his own presidential campaign $140,000 to host events at Mar-a-Lago.

This latest revelation adds to the “pay-to-play” rumors swirling around Trump’s foundation’s Sept. 2013 donation to a political committee backing Bondi’s reelection. The gift, which Bondi personally solicited, was granted just four days after she announced that she might join the New York state attorney general’s fraud probe into the now-defunct Trump University. She ultimately declined to pursue the investigation, though Florida residents had complained about being scammed by Trump’s real estate programs since 2011, two years before Bondi took office.

Trump last week was required to pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service for the donation, which violated campaign finance rules since it came from a registered nonprofit.

While Trump has claimed his donation represents nothing more than a favor to a longtime acquaintance, he has said several times in the past that as a businessman, he donated to politicians with the expectation that he could expect favors in return.

“I’ve given to everybody, because that was my job,” he said in January. “I’ve got to give to them because when I want something I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.”

As the Huffington Post reported, total donations from the Trumps to Bondi’s re-election efforts include the $25,000 gift from his foundation, $500 checks to her campaign from both Ivanka and Donald Trump in the fall of 2013, and, in the spring of 2014, a total of $125,000 from Ivanka and Donald Trump to the Florida GOP, which was Bondi’s primary source of campaign funds.

The Florida attorney general has endorsed Trump’s presidential campaign and joined him in several appearances on the 2016 trail.

Correction: The original post said that Trump allowed Bondi to host her fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago free of charge. The Florida GOP actually paid Trump $4,855.65 to hold the event there.

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Notable Replies

  1. Stop calling it “pay to play.” If you give a prosecutor money to drop a criminal investigation against you, it’s bribery. One is not a crime, the other is.

  2. Avatar for dswx dswx says:

    Another negative story about Drumpf the media will ignore.

  3. Avatar for pine pine says:

    "Somehow, repeatedly bragging about his ability to buy off politicians is
    backfiring for Donald Trump. And, in another surprising twist, making a
    vague remark about whether he ever talked with Florida attorney general
    Pam Bondi about his improper $25,000 donation — which arrived as her
    office opted not to join a fraud investigation into Trump University —
    failed to put the controversy to rest. "

  4. First, thank you, Ms. Kirkland and TPM – please keep the fire going on this important story. Next:

    While Trump did not write a check at that event, other donors in attendance boosted Bondi’s campaign war chest, and she was also able to use the resort, which he has charged his own presidential campaign $140,000 to rent, free of charge.

    This should (should! – but won’t) gall Trump’s donors and supporters – the man uses their donations to pay himself rent! This whole campaign has been nothing more than a money scam.

  5. Maybe not. The New York Times has finally, at long last, started to pay attention to the original $25k for Bondi story - page one, plus an editorial. They’re still not flat-out calling it bribery (they’d get sued), but the wheel may finally be turning…

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