Florida’s anti-gay attorney general Pam Bondi has denied all wrongdoing, after accepting an illegal donation from Donald Trump while considering a lawsuit against Trump University.
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 week that weddings began, filing desperate taxpayer-funded attempts to stall on the issue, before later trying to avoid shelling out the thousands in costs the case had racked up.
She is now facing allegations of serious misconduct 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 also hosted an off-the-books fundraiser for her.
The Trump Foundation agreed to pay a $2,500 fine to the IRS for the illegally undeclared donation, which it chalked up to an “error”.
In violation of accounting laws, the Trump Foundation listed the money as a donation to a Kansas charity with no connection whatsoever to Bondi’s PAC, aside from a similar name. Mr Trump denies the tactic was intended to keep the donation “off the books”
Facing allegations of “pay for play”, Bondi had tried to claim it was “bullying” from the Democrats.
This week, she again denied wrongdoing, telling reporters it was “absurd” to question the conflict of inflect.
In a news conference today, she insisted: “I would never trade any campaign donation — that’s absurd — for some type of favor to anyone. He donated to multiple candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike.
“Donald Trump did not get a pass… Donald Trump was not under investigation in Florida.”
The politician added that returning the money would have made it look more like a bribe.
According to Politico, she said: “If I had returned it you would have reported ‘Bondi accepted a bribe, got caught and returned it.’ That’s how the reporting goes.
“And so, no, there was nothing improper about it. So there was no reason to return it.”