The Trump Donation to the Bondi Group….It’s Not What’s Illegal But What’s Legal

This good story by WaPo’s David Fahrenthold explains how a $25,000 contribution to Florida AG Bondi wound up illegally, and apparently inadvertently, getting paid out of the Trump Foundation account (which cannot make such political donations) rather than from Trump personally.  The explanation for how this happened seems plausible enough.

But the real scandal here is not that a payment came from a foundation but that Trump was giving money to Bondi while Bondi was deliberating over whether or not to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University. After the $25,000 donation, Bondi decided not to pursue the case.

Quid pro quo?  Not proven. But conflict of interest for the AG to solicit money from someone while contemplating a civil [corrected] investigation of that person? That stinks.

And imagine if Hillary Clinton had made a contribution to someone who was deciding whether to investigate her. That certainly would have been a bigger story.

This is a much worse pay-to-play problem than we’ve seen with the Clinton Foundation stories, at least what we know so far.

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