Florida ethics panel clears Bondi in Trump contribution complaint

Pam Bondi during a 2014 campaign stop in West Palm Beach.

 

The Florida Commission on Ethics determined Friday that there is no probable cause that Attorney General Pam Bondi violated state law in 2013 when she asked for a campaign contribution from Donald Trump around the same time her office was reviewing fraud allegations against the for-profit Trump University.

 

Click here for the Associated Press report from Tallahassee on Friday’s decision.

 

As she prepared for her 2014 re-election, Bondi asked Trump for a contribution to the pro-Bondi committee And Justice For All. The nonprofit Donald J. Trump Foundation wrote a $25,000 check in September 2013. Not long afterward, Bondi’s office decided not to join New York in a fraud suit against Trump University.

 

Trump settled complaints against Trump University for $25 million shortly after winning the presidential election in November. He also paid a $2,500 fine to the IRS because the charitable foundation was prohibited from making a contribution to political groups.

 

Bondi has said she did nothing wrong.

 

“I would never, ever trade any campaign contribution…for some type of favor to anyone,” Bondi said in September in her first public comments on the matter.

 

She also defended her decision to keep the contribution rather than return it.

 

“If I had returned it, you would have reported, ‘Bondi accepted a bribe, got caught and returned it,’” Bondi said in September. “That’s how the reporting goes. And so, no, there was nothing improper about it. So there was no reason to return it.”


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