FLORIDA: Fort Lauderdale Newspaper Demands Federal Investigation Of Pam Bondi’s Pay-To-Play Scheme

From the editorial board of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel:

Spin it any way you want, Donald Trump’s contribution to a political committee backing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has a bad odor. An independent federal investigation is needed to determine if his foundation’s $25,000 gift was innocent and aboveboard — or had the effect of keeping the attorney general from joining an investigation of Trump University.

The timing is certainly curious, with the contribution arriving just three days after Bondi’s office said it was considering whether to join a class-action lawsuit against Trump University, an education company that promised to turn students into successful real estate investors, but left many empty-handed. Bondi’s office decided not to join the suit. The donation from the candidate’s foundation also violated tax rules governing nonprofit organizations. As a result, the GOP presidential nominee recently paid the IRS a pocket-change fine of $2,500.

It was learned this week that in 2014, after Bondi decided not to investigate Trump U, the billionaire hosted a $3,000-a-person fundraiser for her at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. And at this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, there was Bondi leading the charge for Trump and joining the Hillary Clinton hate-fest, standing at the podium as the crowd hollered “Lock her up.”

“Lock her up,” Bondi said. “I love that.” There certainly is enough smoke here to warrant an independent investigation of the link between Trump’s $25,000 donation and Bondi’s decision to opt out of investigating Trump U.