Regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump, the man is unequivocally business-oriented. That may sound like a great thing, and it is (for a business owner), but for a politician, it can lead to some shady behavior. A prime example of this was recently uncovered in Florida, where Trump donated $25,000 to Pam Bondi, the Republican Attorney General for the state. The story behind the donation is what draws attention from those with decent morality.
You may have heard of the recent rumblings around Trump University, a now-defunct business school owned and operated by the Trump conglomerate. Trump is still dealing with issues resulting from poor or improper teaching methods at the school, including the exorbitant price tag that went along with the courses. It was even revealed during a deposition about the school that much of the course subject material was available in books published by Donald Trump, but at a fraction of the cost of the ‘university’. For someone attempting to place himself in a position to take on the most important job in the United States, these sorts of business practices may seem dubious at best. But it only gets worse.
When Pam Bondi first solicited the donation from Trump, it was at the onset of an investigation into his school that would have undoubtedly uncovered numerous frauds. Instead, Bondi accepted the $25,000 donation from Trump and dropped the case against him. The donation was apparently sourced from a Trump foundation, which is a direct violation of regulations in place to prevent charities from becoming political pawns.
The timing of these events couldn’t have been more perfect. On September 14, 2013, Bondi announced she might be joining the state of New York in investigating the activities of Trump University. Only four days later, on September 17, the political group behind Pam Bondi, known as And Justice For All, reported they had received the donation from Trump.
None of this would have come to light were if not for a reporter from the Orlando Sun Sentinel, who managed to recover over 8,400 pages of communications and other information from the Florida Attorney General’s Office. The documents had to be combed through with exceptional detail in order to glean relevant info, but the documents held far more than what was obvious. The absence of certain information was just as telling.
In the entirety of the 8,400 pages, there was little or no evidence that Bondi or her team of investigators actually investigated Trump University or any of the complaints they had received. Several complaints from dissatisfied students outlined how the outrageous price of the classes caused bankruptcy, and that the education they received was essentially worthless. Instead of following through with a thorough investigation to these allegations, as any honest professional law enforcement official might, Bondi and her staff recommended that these victims hire their own lawyers, or go to Yahoo or Google in the hopes of finding a class action lawsuit against the school. Instead of doing their own duties, Pam Bondi and the Attorney General’s Office in Florida decided to accept a bribe from the subject of their investigation. When asked directly about the discrepancies, the office did not offer a response.
If Trump is made to stand trial for racketeering during the upcoming election, he will be the first Presidential candidate in history to do so. The allegations of bribery and corruption throughout the office of Pam Bondi, and the Trump campaign, will not stop here. Trump regularly interprets the law as he sees fit, and he seems to think he can wave money at any problem and make it vanish. But money will only go so far if you blatantly disregard societal rules for all to see.