New information has surfaced tying Ivanka Trump to the mushrooming political bribery scandal surrounding Trump and the Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s unusual decision to cease investigating Trump University.
Donald Trump operated the unlicensed University out of 40 Wall Street in New York City, and now faces a major federal trial this November, for both racketeering and consumer fraud.
Public record searches indicate that on September 10th, 2013 Ivanka Trump personally donated $500 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s general election fund, and also Donald Trump made a personal donation himself on July 15th, 2013 of $500 too, before Bondi’s prior claims that the two spoke about donations a month later.
The new information reveals an earlier, direct contribution from Donald J. Trump to Florida Attorney General Bondi and suggests a general pattern of paying significant campaign contributions to both she and former-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in 2013 during a 60-day window when the Republican Presidential candidate went on what could be characterized as a pay-for-play shopping spree.
Donald Trump made four known contributions, totaling $51,000 beginning on July 2013, and ending on September 17th, 2013 in the two different states, and gave Texas AG Abbott another $10,000 the following year.
In July of 2013, Trump made a $25,000 donation to Texas AG Abbott, which was three years after his office abruptly – and shockingly to career officials – dropped what was expected to be a $5.4 million dollar case. Career prosecutors figured that the cost of their nine month investigation alone came to $1.7 million dollars, but taxpayers ate the expense because of that political decision.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump personally and Trump University in the middle of Trump’s summer-long pay-for-play shopping spree, on August 25th, 2013 for operating his unlicensed University from his New York City 40 Wall Street office building.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi told the AP through a spokesperson, that she personally solicited the billionaire sometime in August of 2013 and that it took roughly a month for his payola to arrive.
The newly revealed July donation shows that contact may have started between the prosecutor and the investigated Trump well before then. As Bondi noted, it took a long time to arrange the larger donation. Just fifteen days after the New York AG sued, but before the Florida AG said anything, Ivanka Trump sent Bondi a $500 donation. Public records show that Ivanka Trump’s donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi came just a few days before the Orlando Sentinel’s September 13th, 2013 report that the Florida Attorney General opened an investigation into the Trump University con.
From the look of things, Bondi was not satisfied with the $1,000 combined donations from Trump and daughter. Under Florida, election law they’d be capped at $1,000 donation for the whole election cycle – which ended over 15 months later with her landslide re-election – and that’s when the larger political contribution was arranged.
Just four days after news of the investigation was reported by the Orlando Sentinel, the Donald J. Trump Foundation (a 501c3 charity) infamously donated $25,000 to And Justice For All, a 527 electioneering organization controlled by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
It was mis-reported by Trump’s foundation as going to “Justice for All” in Kansas, and that obfuscation of the $25,000 contribution from the Trump, resulted in Donald Trump personally paying an IRS fine this past week. It has re-raised the question of why the media has given a free pass to a candidate who not only bragged about pay for play during the primary season, but also has here been blatantly caught in a pay for play scheme to avoid legal action against his Trump University scam.
If the goal of Trump’s donations was successfully limiting the engagement of two top level, elected Republican law enforcement officials against his failing for-profit education con, then apparently it worked.
In October 2014, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi dropped her investigation, and her office downplayed more than a dozen complaints as just a single complaint in the process.
Neither Florida or Texas prosecutors joined the New York AG’s case, continued or re-opened their investigations even though there were now a federal civil lawsuit and a state lawsuit all proceeding against an entity which swindled thousands of consumers in both of the populous states of Florida and Texas.
Including these additional donations, Trump’s pay-for-play maneuvering is starting to look more like part of a broader scheme, involving the Texas Attorney General too, who then ran for higher office as a Republican and currently holds the title of Governor of Texas.
This new information also shows that the Trumps approached giving political bribes to Florida’s Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi as both a negotiation and a family affair, just like his Presidential campaign.
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 a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition