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Florida A.G. Only Asked Trump For Money Before Dropping Trump University Suit. Is That So Wrong?
They do seem like natural allies...
Oh, look, there's more stinky stuff being unearthed about Donald Trump's fake "University" and the sudden decision by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to drop an investigation of Trump's scammy real estate seminars just days after getting a generous donation from ... Donald Trump! Sure didn't see anything like this coming, no siree:
Florida's attorney general personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump around the same time her office deliberated joining an investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University and its affiliates
The new disclosure from Attorney General Pam Bondi's spokesman to The Associated Press on Monday provides additional details around the unusual circumstances of Trump's $25,000 donation to Bondi.
Yes? So not only did Bondi drop the investigation right after Trump gave her money, she'd also asked for money from Trump while she was trying to decide? Mere words cannot say how shocked we are, although a number of obscene gestures fit the bill. And how about the propriety of the donation itself, was that stinky, too?
The money came from a Trump family foundation in apparent violation of rules surrounding political activities by charities. A political group backing Bondi's re-election, called And Justice for All, reported receiving the check Sept. 17, 2013 -- four days after Bondi's office publicly announced she was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University's activities, according to a 2013 report in the Orlando Sentinel.
Oh, piffle, a few minor violations of rules for how foundations and political campaign donations are supposed to work. As Donald Trump likes to remind the insufficiently deferential media, such trivialities don't matter: the important thing is that Donald Trump was helping the vets. Or getting what he wanted, which is the same thing, AMERICA.
In case you're keeping score, we've got one attorney general in New York who's suing Trump University for fraud, and two attorneys general, in Florida and in Texas, whose offices decided there was simply no reason to seek restitution for consumers who claimed the school was a scam. By complete coincidence, Florida's Pam Bondi and Texas's Greg Abbott -- the A.G. at the time the lawsuit was dropped, and now the governor -- have both endorsed Trump. In addition, there are two fraud lawsuits being brought by former Trump University students in San Diego, California.
Pam Bondi herself isn't saying anything at the moment, and turned down several AP requests for an interview, possibly because she was washing her hair or her campaign accounts. She referred all questions to political consultant Marc Reichelderfer, whose name is all sorts of fun to say and who helped run her reelection campaign in 2014.
Reichelderfer told AP that Bondi spoke with Trump "several weeks" before her office publicly announced it was deliberating whether to join a lawsuit proposed by New York's Democratic attorney general. Reichelfelder said that Bondi was unaware of dozens of consumer complaints received by her office about Trump's real-estate seminars at the time she requested the donation.
"The process took at least several weeks, from the time they spoke to the time they received the contribution," Reichelderfer told AP.
Ah, so it was all just a big coincidence, then! Now, please to stop the awkward questions about how the investigation vanished a few days after the donation came in, however it came in, OK? Look how transparent Bondi's office is being. Surely all is well, and your cynicism is most sorely unfounded.
Oh, yeah, the AP does remind us why this might be relevant, huh:
The timing of the donation by Trump is notable because the now presumptive Republican presidential nominee has said he expects and receives favors from politicians to whom he gives money.
"When I want something I get it," Trump said at an Iowa rally in January. "When I call, they kiss my ass. It's true."
Well, there is that.
The AP also looked at "thousands of pages of records related to consumer complaints about Trump University and its affiliates" and found -- as did the Orlando Sentinel when it first reported on Trump's financial friendliness to Bondi -- a whole bunch of those dissatisfied consumers who Trump keeps insisting are very rare, because everyone who took real estate seminars from Trump University LOVED them and thought they were the best thing that ever happened to them. The AP seems to have found some whiners who never applied themselves or had any ambition:
All told, more than 20 people requested help from the Florida attorney general's office in obtaining refunds from Trump University and affiliates, with Bondi's predecessor receiving numerous other complaints about the seminar company Trump partnered with. Many of the Trump-related consumers alleged that they paid money for training materials and personalized instruction which were never delivered.
"I was laid off work for the first time in my life and really need this money to support my family," wrote one of the many people seeking help, adding that he had been promised a refund but never received it. "$1,400 is so much money for my family."
The documents complicate prior claims by Bondi's office that she received only one consumer complaint about Trump University at the time that she decided not to join the New York investigation.
Damn, that's a whole lot of losers who didn't have the gumption to become successful. So instead of just one complaint, there were actually 20? We bet Bondi's office has an excellent, compelling explanation for that minor discrepancy.
Bondi's office said that its statement about receiving only a single complaint was accurate at the time because most of the complaints dealt with the Trump Institute, a separate corporate entity from Trump University, and were made before she took office at the start of 2011. The Trump Institute was licensed by Trump to run his seminars, however, with Trump keeping a share of the profits, according to depositions in the Trump University case. In internal emails, Bondi's own staff appeared to lump Trump University and the Trump Institute together -- as New York's lawsuit has done.
This is a fun game! Distinctions between "Trump University" and the "Trump Institute" -- and of when people allegedly got ripped off by one entity or the other -- are vital when you're arguing that the A.G. didn't have any reason to protect consumers, but it doesn't matter when donations to Trump's fake military charity were made, because he got the money to the charity, didn't he?
We're looking forward to Trump's inevitable condemnation of Pam Bondi and Marc Reichelderfer as a couple of Mexicans -- not that there's anything wrong with being Mexican -- who are out to make Trump look bad.
[ Associated Press ]