Let’s get this straight: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says “Hillary Clinton will not bully me” over the legitimate scrutiny being paid to the timing of a campaign donation Bondi received in 2014 from Donald Trump.
Bullying is a pretty stern accusation, so let’s explore this further. What did Clinton do to rise to that level of schoolyard terror?
Start with the fact that Bondi admitted hitting Trump up for a campaign contribution, right around the time a lot of people in her position would have instead asked for a deposition.
“Of course I asked Donald Trump for a contribution; that’s not what this is about,” Bondi told Fox Business News. “She was saying he was under investigation by my office at the time, and I knew about it, none of which is true.”
Proving she is adept at doing the Tallahassee Two-Step, Bondi is absolutely telling the truth. Trump was not under investigation by her office for allegations that his Trump University bilked Florida consumers.
But, um … why not? That’s the real story, and it makes the contribution look downright slimy, coming as it did just days after Bondi decided she saw nothing wrong with Trump’s for-profit venture.
This doesn’t count the fine Trump just paid to the IRS because the check to Bondi came from his charitable foundation. Tax laws prohibit charities from giving political donations.
So Clinton is “bullying” Bondi by bringing this up? Either that was an unfortunate choice of words on live TV, or she is delusional — place your bets. Bondi, no stranger to big league politics, should know better. At this point, she is lucky this is only a campaign issue and not a legal one for her.
She is not the victim here.
Then again, Bondi’s record suggests she is a supreme opportunist who will shape-shift to whatever platform or alliance seems to work best. Remember, she originally endorsed Jeb Bush for president. She even declared, “This is the most important election of our lifetime, and he is the hands-on man we need to run our country.”
Then, after Trump mocked and tried to humiliate Bush during the campaign, Bondi shifted her allegiance to the man Bush probably loathes most of anyone today in politics.
Bondi has made the flimsy explanation that she elected not to join an investigation by New York state into Trump U because it was unnecessary. That’s ridiculous, of course, given Bondi’s enthusiasm for joining the legal actions of other states in the past.
In 2014, she even joined in an attempt to stop a large-scale cleanup of Chesapeake Bay. For the geographically challenged, that’s in Maryland.
This issue has the potential to dog Bondi in much the same way the email scandal has been impossible for Clinton to shake. Since Bondi is term-limited as attorney general and will have to find another gig in 2018, it could be a problem.
I just keep wondering what Bondi’s approach would have been if that was a Florida Democrat caught in a web like this. There would be investigations piled up on top of each other, and she would VOW to GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS immediately!!!
Instead, she calls one her accusers a bully, hoping this classic bob-and-weave makes everyone forget this isn’t Hillary Clinton bringing up an uncomfortable item from Bondi’s recent past. It calls her whole performance as attorney general into question.
That’s not bullying. It’s just reality.