Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is no stranger to controversy, and a newly published investigation from Newsweek has slapped a serious one on his campaign.
Trump may have, in 2007, committed perjury. All those years ago, the businessman was attempting to spread his gambling operation into Florida, but Florida state laws would have none of it.
Laws and ethics have never stopped Trump, however. The businessman thus took to attempting to sway then governor-elect Jeb Bush towards his cause by hosting a fundraiser for the newly elected state leader, one which Trump said at the time was “[Bush’s] most successful fundraiser, the most successful that he had had up until that point, that was in Trump Tower in New York on Fifth Avenue.”
Bush, however, wasn’t impressed. Trump blamed the failure to sway state policy on an employee who had quit Trump’s operation. The businessman ended up in court to settle the tension remaining over the departed employee.
While in court, Trump affirmed under oath that he had, in fact, attempted to sway Bush, only to have his efforts thwarted by the departure of a key employee.
As fate would have it, last fall Trump and Bush squared off at one of the Republican presidential debates. Bush at that time pointed out Trump’s cozy history with the concept of buying off politicians, citing how own experience with the businessman years prior.
Trump, however, said at the debate that Bush was lying, and that he had never made any such attempts at swaying Bush towards changing the laws in Trump’s favor.
Thus, Trump either flat out lied to the nation at that debate — which would be far from surprising — or he committed perjury back in 2007 when swearing under oath that he had, in fact, used a fundraiser in an attempt to influence Bush.
Trump has made similar cozy financial advances towards political leaders in the past.
More recently than the incident with then Governor-elect Bush, Trump had a telling encounter with Florida state Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Just weeks after a story was published saying that Bondi’s office would “determine whether Florida should join the multi-state case” against Trump’s fraudulent “educational” operation termed “Trump University,” the Florida state Attorney General’s office announced that no investigation would proceed.
Four days after the original story was published, “a check for $25,000 from the Donald J. Trump Foundation landed in the Tampa office of a political action committee that had been formed to support Ms. Bondi’s 2014 re-election.”
And the money, having come from Trump’s “charitable foundation,” wasn’t even his to give. The presidential candidate ended up being forced to reimburse the money to his Foundation, in addition to paying fines for the illegal cash transfer.
Trump thus finds it incredibly easy to bend laws and ethics to his own benefit.
Will this keep him from hurtling himself onward in an attempt at the presidency? No. The kind of people drawn to support Trump are somehow eager to be a part of Trump’s shot at the presidency as if on an apocalyptic suicide mission.
But — now those opposed to the candidate can be clear on the seriousness of the man with whom they are dealing, a man barely behind Clinton in terms of his chance at winning the presidency, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Featured Image via Bloomberg/ Getty Images.