Donald Trump's Charity Admits Donating to Pam Bondi's Campaign Was a Mistake
Photo by Gage Skidmore | CC2.0
You won't often hear Donald Trump admit he made a mistake, but his personal charity has apologized for donating to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's election campaign.
See, Trump and Bondi go way back — well, at least as far back as 2013. Bondi was deciding whether her office should join the New York Attorney General's office to investigate allegations of fraud at Trump University on behalf of Florida victims. Bondi decided not to take action.
During that time, Trump made a $25,000 donation to a group supporting Bondi's 2014 reelection.
Bondi returned the favor earlier this month by endorsing Trump ahead of the Florida primary.
That all seems shady enough, but turns out it's actually a bit shadier.
The donation to Bondi came not directly from Trump, but rather from his personal charity the Trump Foundation. It's worth noting that it's totally illegal for nonprofit charities to donate to campaigns.
The Washington Post reports that the donation was the result of a number of sloppy mistakes by Trump's staff.
Apparently, whenever Trump wants to write a big check, a request goes to an accounts payable clerk in the billionaire's organization. The clerk is supposed to figure out where the money comes
The name of the pro-Bondi group was And Justice for All. However, when checking a list of approved charities, the clerk found one called Justice for All. Incidentally, it's a Kansas-based group that trains anti-abortion activists.
Image via State of Florida
So the clerk took the $25,000 out of Trump's charity account and gave it to the pro-Bondi group. But the organization then reported to the IRS that it had made a donation to the Kansas group instead.
The $25,000 check, along with all of the foundation's other donations, was reported to the IRS in 2013. The others include $325 to the ACLU of Florida, $25,000 for the Palm Beach Zoo, and $10,000 to the Tiger Woods Foundation.
Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) reports that the Kansas-based group never received funds from the Trump Foundation and that, indeed, Trump violated the law by donating to Bondi through his personal charity and falsely reporting the information to the IRS.
CREW has now filed an official complaint with the IRS.
“The rules are clear: A tax-exempt charitable foundation cannot support a political group,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. “The apparent failure to tell the IRS about this political activity makes matters worse and is something we’ve seen too many organizations doing lately.”
The Trump Foundation, however, maintains it was an honest mistake.
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