Donald Trump’s charitable foundation faced a fine over “illegal” payments he made to Florida’s anti-LGBT attorney general Pam Bondi, while she was considering whether the state should sue him.
Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi was a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage until the very end last year, claiming in a legal brief that “disrupting Florida’s existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm”, and would cause “significant financial and logistical problems”.
Ms Bondi fought bitterly against same-sex marriage until the very week that marriages began, filing desperate taxpayer-funded attempts in successive court battles to stall on the issue on behalf of the state.
The thrice-married politician – who was named ‘Loser of the Year’ for her sad attempts to stall equality – didn’t even give up once equality became law, filing a dispute to avoid shelling out the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the case had racked up in legal fees.
She is now facing questions about her links to Donald Trump.
The Donald J Trump Foundation made a $25,000 donation to a Bondi-aligned PAC in 2014, while Bondi was considering joining legal action against Trump University.
After the donation came in, Bondi did not continue with the legal action. It has since emerged that Trump later held an off-the-books fundraiser for her.
Although Mr Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, the Trump Foundation this month agreed to pay a $2,500 fine to the IRS for the donation, which it chalked up to an “error”.
But Hillary Clinton questioned this, summarising: “We’ve recently learned that his Trump Foundation has been fined $2,500 for illegal activity when it made a political contribution to the attorney general of Florida at the time she was being asked by her constituents to investigate Trump University,”
Facing allegations of “pay for play” this week, Bondi claimed it was “bullying” from the Democrats.
She said: “It is absolutely untrue and Hillary Clinton will not bully me.
“Of course I asked Donald Trump for a contribution; that’s not what this is about. She [Clinton] was saying he was under investigation by my office at the time and I knew about it, none of which is true.”
Trump insisted: “I never spoke to [Bondi], first of all. She’s a fine person, beyond reproach. I never even spoke to her about it at all. She’s a fine person. Never spoken to her about it, never.
“Many of the attorney generals turned that case down because I’ll win that case in court. Many turned that down. I never spoke to her.”
He added: “I just have a lot of respect for her as a person. And she has done an amazing job as the attorney general of Florida. She is very popular.”