By Jeff Horwitz, Gary Fineout and Michael Biesecker, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Florida’s attorney general personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump around the same time her office deliberated joining an investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University and its affiliates.
The new disclosure from Attorney General Pam Bondi’s spokesman to The Associated Press on Monday provides additional details around the unusual circumstances of Trump’s $25,000 donation to Bondi.
The money came from a Trump family foundation in apparent violation of rules surrounding political activities by charities. A political group backing Bondi’s re-election, called And Justice for All, reported receiving the check Sept. 17, 2013 — four days after Bondi’s office publicly announced she was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University’s activities, according to a 2013 report in the Orlando Sentinel.
After the check came in, Bondi’s office nixed suing Trump, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.
Bondi declined repeated requests for an interview on Monday, referring all questions to Marc Reichelderfer, a political consultant who worked for her most re-election effort.
Reichelderfer told AP that Bondi spoke with Trump “several weeks” before her office publicly announced it was deliberating whether to join a lawsuit proposed by New York’s Democratic attorney general. Reichelfelder said that Bondi was unaware of dozens of consumer complaints received by her office about Trump’s real-estate seminars at the time she requested the donation.
“The process took at least several weeks, from the time they spoke to the time they received…