Florida AG Pam Bondi Faces National Fire

Bondi gets heat from the national press for her ties to Trump

By: Jim Williams – Washington Bureau Chief for News Talk Florida

WASHINGTON – It might be an old story to many in Florida but Tampa’s Pam Bondi, the states Attorney General is suddenly, is in the middle of a national firestorm. It stems from an indecent that happened back in 2013,when a $25,000 donation to her campaign was made by the tax-exempt Donald J. Trump Foundation.

To be exact it took place on Sept. 17, 2013, four days after it was reported that Bondi’s office was considering whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University, the Associated Press reported earlier this year. Something that for her part Bondi has denied over the years.

Bondi, has been one of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters often taking the stage to warm up the crowd before events. Now what at the time might have been a simple campaign check has taken on a life of its own.

Bondi has all along maintained that the check to her campaign and the choice not to go after Trump University in Florida were never tied together. So, she made the choice not go after Trump and to have those wishing to seek to take up lawsuits against his university to do so in New York.

Bondi spokesperson Whitney Ray said, “While there was never an investigation, staff, doing due diligence, reviewed the complaints and the New York litigation and made the proper determination that the New York litigation would provide relief to aggrieved consumers nationwide.

The spokesman said neither Bondi’s office nor Florida residents needed to join the lawsuit because Florida residents would be protected by the suit in other states.

The AP’s report said Bondi had solicited the donation from Trump’s foundation.

However, Trump on Monday insisted he “never spoke to her about that at all.”

“I’ve just known Pam Bondi for years,” he added. “I have a lot of respect for her.”

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The AP’s report said Bondi had solicited the donation from Trump’s foundation.

However, Trump on Monday insisted he “never spoke to her about that at all.”

“I’ve just known Pam Bondi for years,” he added. “I have a lot of respect for her.”

Yesterday, Trump dismissed allegations of impropriety. saying his foundation’s $25,000 donation to Florida’s attorney general had nothing to do with her office mulling an investigation into Trump University.

The Republican candidate’s press secretary confirmed to multiple news outlets that Trump paid a $2,500 fine over the donation to a campaign group linked to AG Pam Bondi.

News of the fine — levied after an ethics group complained that the donation had not been disclosed to tax officials — was first reported by The Washington Post. A Trump Organization confirmed the candidate reimbursed the foundation for the fine.

The newspaper also reported that Trump’s foundation listed the donation as intended for a charity with a different — albeit similar — name to Bondi’s political group.

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But over the past 48 hours it has generated major news throughout the country.

Here is a taste of what the national and Sunshine State media is saying about Bondi.

NYT: Donald Trump’s Donation Is His Latest Brush With Campaign Fund
Excerpt: “Donald J. Trump, who has repeatedly denounced pay-to-play politics during his insurgent campaign, is now defending himself against claims that he donated $25,000 to a group supporting the Florida attorney general, Pam Bondi, to sway her office’s review of fraud allegations at Trump University.

Orlando Sentinel (Maxwell): New Records Show Bondi Needs Probing in Trump Mess
Excerpt: “Donald Trump made headlines last week for paying a $2,500 IRS fine for improperly using money from a charity to fund a campaign committee for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.”

Miami Herald (opinion): Donald Trump’s gift to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Deserves a Closer Look
Excerpt: “Isn’t it terrible about those connections between the candidate’s foundation and charitable donations that changed hands in what appeared to be play-to-pay? Yes, it is. And now, at last, the Internal Revenue Service has agreed by levying a fine on the foundation for violating the rules that bar political donations by the charities.”

NYT (opinion): Pay to Play, Mr.Trump?
Excerpt: “In light of the suspicions hanging over Donald Trump and Pam Bondi, the Florida attorney general, this opening quote from her Republican National Convention speech is particularly rich. ‘Nov. 8 is a day of reckoning for all those who have abused their power,’ she said. ‘Winning this election means reclaiming something to which I’ve dedicated my entire career: the rule of law.’
TPM: How Trump Has Explicitly Described The Pay To Play Politics He Now Denies
Excerpt: Since embarking on his presidential campaign, Trump has boasted about his history of making major contributions to politicians of both parties — contributions he said are part of a “game” that he has been on the “other side all of my life.”
Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.