Florida’s Republican Attorney General, Pam Bondi, may have just set the record for shady corruption in the Sunshine State, asking Donald Trump for campaign money while she investigated his sham Trump University. Bondi, no stranger to conflicted interests or big-dollar politics after working for years in one of the most corrupt states in the country, sold the use of her office by the orange-faced real estate mogul to sell the TV star’s trumpery as an educational product or seminar, as reported in FloridaPolitics.com:
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. After the money came in, Bondi’s office nixed suing Trump. 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 publicly announced she was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University’s activities.
Trump engaged in his pay-for-play scam, and were it not for diligent reporting by the Orlando Sun Sentinel and the recovery of a stunning 8,400 pages of hidden Florida Attorney General communications, we’d never have known about this unfolding political corruption scandal highlighting Donald Trump’s practice of donating to state attorneys who investigated him. The dogged journalist who scrutinized the trove of documents had this to say:
Most importantly, though, let me tell you what I did not find among those 8,491 pages — much evidence that Bondi’s investigators had actually probed or investigated the complaints that had come her way. In one case, a man said Trump University cost him $26,000 and drove him into bankruptcy. He asked if Bondi would follow the New York attorney general’s lead in investigating the matter. Bondi’s office instead suggested he “visit an Internet search engine such as http://www.yahoo.com or http://www.google.com to search for information on any class action lawsuits you may benefit from.
Evidence of hard-core investigative work — the likes of which New York’s attorney general has conducted — appeared largely absent. No sworn affidavits or interviews of company officials I could find. Instead, staff suggested people who felt victimized should hire their own lawyers or perhaps join the New York case. I asked Bondi’s office last week if I had missed any evidence of their dogged pursuit of justice in this case — or if they could explain the inconsistencies. They did not respond.
Yet again, Donald Trump continues to surprise critics and supporters alike with his brazen disregard for honest business practices and the laws that govern our nation. The reality TV performer and brand marketer admitted in a Trump University deposition that everything taught in the exorbitantly priced courses was “in the books” which he’d published, which could be bought for a fraction of the price of even a 3-day Trump University ripoff course.
Trump may cost a fellow Republican her position as Florida’s second ranking statewide elected official her job, and her law license, and if a special prosecutor is appointed, even more. Because the stink of corruption is all over Trump for paying off the prosecutor investigating him, and all over Bondi and her office for referring people to class action civil lawsuits, when Trump University was allegedly committing extreme violations of Florida’s consumer protection laws, which is set for trial in November. Shortly after the Republican National Convention in July, federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel will hear the last motion before setting or ending the federal racketeering claim against Donald Trump.
The race-baiting rabble-rouser will become the very first major party Presidential nominee of either party in American history to stand a federal trial for racketeering and run for the highest office in the land at the same time.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.