The sitting Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, is being hit with criminal allegations for an alleged bribe she received from Donald Trump in 2013. Trump is also named in the allegations for his role in the ordeal.
The funds, $25,000 in the form of a “donation” from Trump to Bondi’s political committee, came in the midst of an investigation into Trump University carried out by Bondi’s office. According to reports, Bondi personally solicited the donation from Trump, after which she promptly closed the investigation.
Trump University is the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s former “educational venture,” which has long been exposed as fraudulent. The exposing of the so-called school came after participants made continuous rounds of complaints to authorities about their feelings of having been defrauded.
The authorities took the patrons of Trump University seriously, and they started formal cases against Trump in at least one state, New York, a case which is still ongoing.
One authority who did not take the claim seriously was, you guessed it, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. On September 13, 2013, the Orlando Sentinel ran a story that Bondi was looking into Trump University.
Four days later Bondi received the “donation,” which, again, she reportedly personally solicited. Bondi subsequently closed Florida’s investigation and referred those who came to her office to a class action lawsuit in New York, one which she, out of character, refused to latch her office onto.
And the Boston trial lawyer responsible for the allegations, Whitfield Larrabee, has harsh words to say about the whole incident, reiterating that he thinks there is enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Bondi.
Larrabee said, as reported by the Sun Sentinel, “If it looks like a bribe and quacks like a bribe, I think it’s a bribe.”
In more professional terms, his official complaint to federal authorities reads as follows:
‘Evidence strongly indicates that Bondi’s decision not to initiate or participate in litigation against Trump University was given in exchange for Trump’s contribution based on the short time period between the receipt of the political contribution and the announcement of Bondi’s decision not to participate in the New York litigation.’
The ramifications of the allegations are unclear. Bondi, of course, continues to deny them. She even claimed in one instance that the complaints against Trump University came in before she took office, and therefore her decision in the case never changed.
Bondi, of course, doesn’t note that such an assertion almost is an admittance that she unfairly favored Trump, also known as a major financial backer of hers, in the course of the investigation. She simply claims that the money didn’t change her decision.
To actually have an effect on the outcome of the election, Trump would have to be put in prison, which simply is not likely.
In fact, he would have to be in prison for a long period of time, since the man’s followers would still vote for him even if he went to jail. Repeated interviews with those who support him have shown that he is sickeningly idolized in most cases, with multiple individuals gleefully exclaiming that they would vote for Trump even if he committed murder.
At least his supporters aren’t as big as they want us to think, since Trump still sits a chasm behind Clinton in general election polls and models in terms of odds that he will win.