Democrats Turn Up the Heat On Trump Donations to Pam Bondi with Call for Feds to Investigate

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The House Judiciary Committee Democrats urged the Department of Justice to investigate the Trump Foundation donations to Florida A.G. Pam Bondi Tuesday.

Citing the concern of several editorial boards – including the Tampa Bay Times, the Sun Sentinel, and the Washington Post – that have called for the feds to investigate the Trump-Bondi connection, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) wrote a letter requesting that DOJ Attorney General Loretta Lynch investigate “allegations of bribery and other criminal misconduct concerning the $25,000 donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.”

The letter, signed by every Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, read in part “…It has been reported that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi personally solicited a political contribution from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump while her office deliberated joining an investigation of fraud at Trump University.”

“…After receiving these funds, Mrs. Bondi declined to further investigate Mr. Trump’s business interests. This fact pattern indicates that these payments may have influenced Mrs. Bondi’s official decision not to participate in litigation against Mr. Trump. A number of criminal statutes would appear to be implicated by this course of conduct.”

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They cited:

18 U.S.C. § 201(b) – pertaining to unlawful bribery schemes.

18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343, and 1346 – pertaining to bribery schemes that deprive constituents of the honest services of public officials.

26 U.S.C. § 7206 and 18 U.S.C. § 1001 – concerning a deliberate failure to disclose the transfer of funds by a non-profit foundation to the Internal Revenue Service, under penalty of perjury.

“Therefore, our concerns extend beyond Mr. Trump’s violation of tax laws.”

They noted Trump bragging about how giving to important people makes them do whatever you want them to do, “In a 2015 interview with the Wall Street Journal, he justified his actions this way: ‘As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.'[6] He was even more direct at campaign stop earlier this year: ‘I’ve given to everybody. Because that was my job. I gotta give to them . . . . Because when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.'[7]”

Unlike the Republican-led witch hunts into Hillary Clinton, the Democrats are echoing the thoughts of non-partisans and concerned citizens about facts already in evidence.

In addition to investigating the Trump Bondi relationship, the feds should also be looking into the financial relationship between then Texas AG Greg Abbott and Donald Trump.

[6] Peter Nicholas, Donald Trump Walks Back His Past Praise of Hillary Clinton, Wall St. Journal, July 29, 2015.

[7] David A. Fahrenthold and Rosalind S. Helderman, Trump bragged that his money bought off politicians. Just not this time., Wash. Post, Sept. 7, 2016.