Pam Bondi personally asked Donald Trump for donation before nixing Trump U. fraud case - Florida Politics

Pam Bondi personally asked Donald Trump for donation before nixing Trump U. fraud case

Florida’s attorney general personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump around the same time her office deliberated joining an investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University and its affiliates

The new disclosure from Attorney General Pam Bondi‘s spokesman to The Associated Press on Monday provides additional details around the unusual circumstances of Trump’s $25,000 donation to Bondi.

The money came from a Trump family foundation in apparent violation of rules surrounding political activities by charities. A political group backing Bondi’s re-election, called And Justice for All, reported receiving the check Sept. 17, 2013 – four days after Bondi’s office publicly announced she was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University’s activities, according to a 2013 report in the Orlando Sentinel.

After the check came in, Bondi’s office nixed suing Trump, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.

Bondi declined repeated requests for an interview on Monday, referring all questions to Marc Reichelderfer, a political consultant who worked for her most re-election effort.

Reichelderfer told AP that Bondi spoke with Trump “several weeks” before her office publicly announced it was deliberating whether to join a lawsuit proposed by New York’s Democratic attorney general. Reichelfelder said that Bondi was unaware of dozens of consumer complaints received by her office about Trump’s real-estate seminars at the time she requested the donation.

“The process took at least several weeks, from the time they spoke to the time they received the contribution,” Reichelderfer told AP.

The timing of the donation by Trump is notable because the now presumptive Republican presidential nominee has said he expects and receives favors from politicians to whom he gives money.

“When I want something I get it,” Trump said at an Iowa rally in January. “When I call, they kiss my ass. It’s true.”

In addition to the money given by his foundation, Trump himself has donated $253,500 since in Florida since 1999, most of it going to Republican candidates, the state party or political committees affiliated with GOP officials. His daughter, Ivanka Trump, also gave a $500 check to Bondi a week before her father’s money came in, as well as another $25,000 to the Republican Party of Florida the following year.

The AP reviewed thousands of pages of records related to consumer complaints about Trump University and its affiliates filed with Bondi’s office. The documents – previously obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, which first reported Trump’s donation to Bondi – reveal a new reservoir of unhappy Trump University customers, despite recent claims from the presumptive GOP presidential nominee that the students of his real estate seminar company were overwhelmingly satisfied.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and a separate federal class action civil lawsuit in California allege that Trump University – which was largely owned by Trump himself – defrauded consumers by as much as $35,000 each with promises of a real estate investing education that they either did not receive or found to be worthless.

All told, more than 20 people requested help from the Florida attorney general’s office in obtaining refunds from Trump University and affiliates, with Bondi’s predecessor receiving numerous other complaints about the seminar company Trump partnered with. Many of the Trump-related consumers alleged that they paid money for training materials and personalized instruction which were never delivered.

“I was laid off work for the first time in my life and really need this money to support my family,” wrote one of the many people seeking help, adding that he had been promised a refund but never received it. “$1,400 is so much money for my family.”

The documents complicate prior claims by Bondi’s office that she received only one consumer complaint about Trump University at the time that she decided not to join the New York investigation.

Bondi’s office said that its statement about receiving only a single complaint was accurate at the time because most of the complaints dealt with the Trump Institute, a separate corporate entity from Trump University, and were made before she took office at the start of 2011. The Trump Institute was licensed by Trump to run his seminars, however, with Trump keeping a share of the profits, according to depositions in the Trump University case. In internal emails, Bondi’s own staff appeared to lump Trump University and the Trump Institute together – as New York’s lawsuit has done.

Bondi was not the only GOP attorney general to shy away from suing Trump.

The Associated Press first reported last week that then-Texas Attorney Greg Abbott received $35,000 from Trump, three years after his office in 2010 dropped a proposed lawsuit over Trump U. Following AP’s report, former Texas Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens said the case had been dropped for political reasons. He also made public a detailed internal summary of what he called his staff’s strong case against Trump.

A spokesman for Abbott, now the Texas governor, said the case was dropped after Trump’s organization agreed to stop offering his namesake real-estate seminars in the state. Within months, Trump University was out of business nationwide.

By choosing not to pursue Trump in court, the GOP attorneys general left the unhappy students in their states on their own to try to get refunds from the celebrity businessman.

Both Bondi and Abbott have now endorsed Trump for president.

15 Comments

  1. Obvious hitpiece by the corrupt media. They lie so much that it is a routine now.

    Realy question is why this article comes now? And the article is clearly biased. How about showing some actual proof that there were valid reasons for the cases to be charged?

    Cases of false accusations are very common. Especially against celebrities.

    1. Good to know you support elected official getting bought and sold. But I guess as long as they are Republicans, you’re cool with that. What a hypocrite.

  2. Remember that battery charged against a certain candidate campaign manager? We all know how that turned out.

    This is clearly the same biased lies that liberal spew…

    If the charges against Trump U is valid, it will means that any dropout or graduate from any college or university program that cannot find job can actually go back and charge their previous college and University for asking a refund… The only reason these charges exist or even this article exists is because we are in electoral campaign. Stop with the lies. Nobody believes you anymore.

  3. @trader1up
    Yes. Hitpiece is all it is. You are going to tell me that there has not been any false articles in the past that was written just to throw mud? There have been loads of these types of lies. The battery charges? The woman articles?

    Even now, this articles only spew biased hearsay. How about answering the question I mentioned?

    Because guess what? If you lost your credibility, the burden is it up to the media to prove their credibility. Until then, it is a blatant hitpiece.

    @nunya
    LOL. Who said anything about Republican? I dont believe any stories from media. Whether it is a hitpiece from Republican or Democrat.

    It is a fact that we are in electoral campaign, and both will do ANYTHING to make the other side look bad. So, I will be sceptic. Because this is NOT the first and neither is it the last lies that we will hear. I will start believe after the electoral campaign. Until then, I will keep my skepticism.

  4. Elections should be about policies. Because of all these stupid propaganda, we are reducing the whole process to a stupid popularity contest.

    It is sad when the political press has as much depth as a tabloid press.

    Instead of analysing in depth how much each policies will determine the change the country, we get these mud slings contest. Until now, I have yet to see a good article placing each candidates policy vs each other. Trump policy is quite simple, Clintons is basically continuing Obama`s plan. Whereas Sanders, I have yet to see any real indepth analysis. Calling a plan “Crazy” and “Socialist” does not make it. I want more indepth analysis please.

  5. Example:
    Trump say he will build a wall. He even boasts about it. Is it even possible? Mexico will pay for it? Why? How?

    He say he will make all industry come back by adding tax on imports? How? To what extext will it affect the other products? what about exports? What about minimum wage?

    He say he will improve army? how? The country is in debt…how will he do that?

    People say he will start WW3 and yet he is the only one willing to talk to everyone and that includes our fiercest enemies…. is that wrong?
    Someone famous said :”we make peace with our enemies, not our allies”. Would the other candidate be open to discuss with our enemies?

  6. On Clinton Policy:
    Clinton persists that she will continue with Affordable care Act(ObamaCare), but yet everyone say it is a disaster… how is she gonna change it? or is it even gonna get change? if not, why? how is she gonna add to it? What are the numbers?

    What is she gonna do for jobs?She says she gonna make jobs? How? She and Obama do not have a glorious record for now. So, how she gonna change that?

    Her foreign policy until now has been to go to war in Lybia, etc… is it really to our advantage to continue in an endless war with no apparent strategy? What is all the fuss about the IRAN deal? Why so secretive? It was suppose to be a historic deal. Let the people see the fine prints…. Obama said that he will be the most transparent president, and yet there are so many questions out there with no answers…and NO I am NOT talking about the stupid rumour of Obama not being born in US. That is BS.
    Are we to expect the same level of transparency as Obama administration?

  7. On Sanders:
    He say he will give free stuff for all. (education, healtcare, etc…)
    Is it even possible? Do you really think taxing the richest is gonna work?
    French President Francois Holland did exactly that. He TOO was against “Finance” he said. Once elected, all the richest people and actors left the country for the neighbouring country. And in the end, his tax plan did not even go through the senate. It got shot down. How plausible is Sanders plan compared to French President Hollande?What will he do better?
    President Hollande is at a historic low (most hated French President ever until now)…. So, how does Berny Sanders plan is better? and what makes it better?

    These are all legitimate questions that should, but are not even spoken about because of trash hitpiece articles here. So, STOP with the garbage hitpiece articles. NOBODY gives a damn. Everyone knows boths camps are just spewing lies to make the opponent look bad. We DO NOT NEED anymore mud sling contest. Leave that for Lohans, and Biebers, etc.

  8. Clearly the Don is a complete fraudster- did the exact same thing in Texas. The District Attorney there was all ready to bring the case forward on Trump U- and then guess what? He gets a call from the Texas Attorney General- you guessed it- who also got a bribe to drop case. Time to call in the Feds on this one.

  9. Never trusterd pam bondie or rick scott. Im a 40 year residentof florida. The FBI needs to check them out. This is not a political outburst

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