Bondi tries to defend herself in Trump case ... and fails
Orlando Sentinel, June 8, 2016
[On June 7], Attorney General Pam Bondi attempted to deflect the mounting – and national – criticism regarding the $25,000 she took from Donald Trump.
It didn’t work.
That’s mainly because her written statement was was heavy on indignation, but short on any actual facts that make her look better.
The facts, as you may know, show that Bondi’s political committee took $25,000 from Donald Trump’s charitable foundation just three days after her office said it was “reviewing” allegations against one of Donald Trump’s businesses.
Those are the facts. They are unchanged since I first reported them in 2013. And they stink. No self-respecting prosecutor would take money from someone he or she had been asked to probe.
Yet, instead of apologizing for taking money, Bondi on Tuesday lit into the Associated Press, accusing the AP of writing a “false and misleading” story. (You can read her full statement here.)
Bondi seemed to have two main beefs with the AP story.
One was that AP reported that she had been “deliberating” whether to join a lawsuit from the New York attorney general against Trump when her office had merely been “reviewing” the matter. Yes, seriously. Talk about thin gruel.
But Bondi also seemed miffed at implications that she’d acted unethically by taking money from someone her office was investigating. She suggested that wasn’t accurate because “no one in my office ever opened an investigation on Trump University nor was there a basis for doing so …”
Think about that for a moment.
If we take Bondi at her own word, the best defense she’s got is that she – the state’s top investigator – never actually investigated any of the complaints filed against a man whose money she took.
I’m not sure that helps – which is why she’ll keep facing questions, as well as mounting calls for an independent probe.
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