Democrats Demand Probe as Bondi Admits Asking for Donation Before Dropping Trump University Case

Pam Bondi
Pam Bondi
Courtesy of State of Florida

"When I want something I get it," Trump memorably said of his relationships with career politicians at a rally in Iowa back in January. "When I call, they kiss my ass. It's true."

Turns out, sometimes Trump doesn't even have to make the call to get an ass-kissing. 

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office has now admitted that she personally courted Donald Trump for a campaign donation just weeks before she decided not to investigate the complaints of Florida consumers who felt they were defrauded by Trump University. 

Although the timing of the $25,000 donation had been noted and questioned before, the Associated Press report is the first time Bondi's office has provided details about how the transaction came to be. 

"The process took at least several weeks, from the time they spoke to the time they received the contribution," Bondi's political consultant Marc Reichelderfer told the newswire. 

So, here's the timeline of events we now have:

  • "Several weeks beforehand": Bondi personally solicits Trump for a donation. 
  • September 17, 2013: Bondi's office announces that they are considering joining other state attorneys general in bringing a lawsuit against Trump University. 
  • Three days later: The Trump Foundation writes a $25,000 check to the Bondi-affiliated SuperPAC And Justice for All. 
  • October 17, 2013: A Bondi spokeswoman suggests to the Tampa Bay Times that Bondi would not join in the investigation. Indeed, she never did. 

But Reichelderfer adds that Bondi wasn't aware of complaints against Trump University at the time she originally reached out to Trump. Although dozens of Floridians had filed complaints with the state attorney general's office about Trump's business, most were made in 2008 when former Attorney General Bill McCollum was in office. 

Bondi has not yet personally commented on the revelation. 

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Photo by Gage Skidmore | CC2.0

The donation had previously caught flack because Trump wrote the check from the account of his private charity fund, but the Trump Organization claims it was just a simple bookkeeping mishap

Bondi has since become Trump's biggest political supporter in the state of Florida. She was the only sitting statewide politician to endorse Trump before the Florida primary. Even now, she remains one of the few sitting Florida politicians fully on the "Trump Train." 

Indeed, she has been poised to become a prolific surrogate for Trump in the state and perhaps nationally. 

According to Bloomberg News, Bondi was one of a small number of Trump's surrogates who participated in a strategy call with Trump himself earlier this week.  

During the call, Trump urged his surrogates to not only defend his attacks on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, but to join in themselves. Trump also lambasted his own staffer for previously circulating a memo suggesting his supporters shy away the Judge Curiel situation. 

Judge Curiel is overseeing cases involving Trump University. Trump has called Curiel's credibility into question because the American-born judge is of Mexican heritage. 

In any event, the Florida Democratic Party is practically dancing in glee over the situation. The party is calling for an official probe into the situation and is circulating a petition calling for Bondi to return the $25,000 donation. 

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