Florida AG Pam Bondi and Donald Trump hit with bribery complaint over shady Trump U arrangement
A Massachusetts attorney is asking federal prosecutors to investigate a donation made to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi by GOP candidate Donald Trump, the Sun Sentinel reports.
Whitfield Larrabee, a Boston-based trial lawyer, has filed bribery complaints with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Florida and New York against Bondi and Trump, alleging they violated federal law. In 2013, Bondi, a Republican, personally solicited Trump and received a $25,000 contribution to her political committee.
Bondi’s office at the time was reviewing complaints against Trump University, which has since come under heavy scrutiny for allegations of fraud. Trump U offered seminars on real estate investing, but attendees said the courses proved useless and they were billed thousands of dollars.
Bondi was considering joining a New York state-led lawsuit against Trump, but after receiving the donation, dropped plans to pursue the case, even though her office had received fraud complaints from Floridians who alleged they had been cheated out of large sums of money by Trump.
Larrabee says he believes Bondi dropped the case as quid pro quo in return for receiving the money.
“If it looks like a bribe and quacks like a bribe, I think it’s a bribe,” Larrabee told the Sentinel.
His complaint, provided to the Sentinel, states, “Evidence strongly indicates that Bondi’s decision not to initiate or participate in litigation against Trump University was given in exchange for Trump’s contribution based on the short time period between the receipt of the political contribution and the announcement of Bondi’s decision not to participate in the New York litigation.”
Larrabee’s complaint is not the only one like it. Then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott — who is now the governor — received a $35,000 campaign contribution from Trump three years after dropping a proposed 2010 lawsuit against Trump U. Former Texas Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owen has since said the case was dropped for political reasons.