Donald Trump has paid a $2,500 penalty to the Internal Revenue Service for a $25,000 donation his charitable foundation made to a political committee backing the Florida attorney general, a violation of tax law, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
The 2013 gift to And Justice For All, a group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R), arrived as Bondi was weighing whether to pursue an investigation into allegations that Trump University defrauded thousands of students in the Sunshine State. She did not move forward with the case.
Since then, Bondi has been an outspoken supporter of the GOP nominee and often introduces him during campaign rallies in the state.
The Washington Post and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal watchdog group, first raised questions about the gift earlier this year. Te Trump Foundation is a registered nonprofit and therefore legally prohibited from making political donations, as the center pointed out in its complaint to the IRS.
But the fact that Trump’s foundation gave to the Bondi-backing group was obscured in this year’s tax filings. As the Post reports, the Trump Foundation did not tell the IRS it made a donation to And Justice For All, but it did list a $25,000 gift to the Kansas-based nonprofit Justice For All.
Jeffrey McConney, senior vice president and controller at the Trump Organization, told the newspaper, “It was just an honest mistake.”
“It wasn’t done intentionally to hide a political donation, it was just an error,” he said.
McConney also said Trump personally reimbursed the foundation to cover the $25,000 gift and filed IRS paperwork to disclose the gift after being notified of the improper gift.