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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

D.C. ethics group wants investigation into Bondi's actions on Trump University

A government watchdog group is calling for a pair of state investigations into whether Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi may have violated the law by not taking action on complaints related to Trump University in 2013.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed requests - but not formal complaints - with both the Florida Commission on Ethics and the Inspector General for the Attorney General’s office to dig into what they call “murky” details about Bondi’s decision not to investigate complaints against Trump University, the Trump Institute and related entities.

More than 20 complaints have been filed against Trump University, the Trump Institute and related entities in Florida. But CREW’s executive director Noah Bookbinder noted that a month after New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuits against Trump University in August 2013 based on similar complaints, Bondi received a $25,000 donation from the Trump Foundation into a political committee she controls called Justice For All.

In his letter to the Florida Commission on Ethics and the Inspector General, Bookbinder said the timeline of events suggests a line between the donation and the attorney general’s office’s decisions.

“The apparent timing of decisions not to take legal action against Trump University or the Trump Institute are deeply concerning,” Bookbinder said.  “The Inspector General and the Commission on Ethics should immediately commence investigations to get to the bottom of this.”

Bondi has in past interviews denied her office was investigating Trump and that she dropped the investigation after the donation.

“I never, nor was my office, investigating him. Never. I would never lie. I would never take money. I've been obviously devastated over this," Bondi said last month.

A spokesman for Bondi did not respond to request for comment in regards to CREW’s actions on Wednesday.

In March, CREW also filed an IRS complaint against the Trump Foundation for making the donation.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 6:06pm]


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