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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Trump shuts down foundation that gave money to Bondi



Donald Trump said Saturday he was shutting down his charitable foundation, seeking to resolve a lingering controversy that includes Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Bondi’s political committee in 2013 received a $25,000 contribution from the Donald J. Trump Foundation -- a donation that is prohibited for nonprofits and cost Trump  $2,500 with the IRS.

Questions were raised because the donation came around the time Trump was under scrutiny for his real estate seminars, Trump University and Trump Institute, and because Trump has boasted about buying off politicians.

Bondi adamantly rejects the money influenced her decision not to investigate, saying her office received only two consumer complaints about the seminars, which Trump set up in Florida with a get-rich quick couple with a record of fraud.

Other complaints came into the state under AG Bill McCollum, who also said the matter did not reach his level.

"I would never, ever trade any campaign donation — that's absurd — for some type of favor to anyone," Bondi said in September.

Trump’s foundation has other Florida connections.

Questions of self-dealing arose after it was reported Trump used the charity to settle a lawsuit stemming from an 80-foot flag pole he erected at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. To resolve the issue, he gave $100,000 of foundation money to give to a charity for veterans.

[Last modified: Saturday, December 24, 2016 10:10pm]


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