Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Recap what we know about Trump's $25,000 check to Pam Bondi

Donald Trump gave $25,000 in 2013 to support Attorney General Pam Bondi's re-election bid.

The contribution triggered allegations then that it steered Bondi's office away from investigating Trump University.

Three years later, the contribution is back in the news. Here's a recap of where we are with the controversy.

Why is the contribution in the news right now?

Last week, Trump paid a $2,500 penalty to the Internal Revenue Service and refunded his foundation $25,000 from his personal wealth because the Sept. 17, 2013 contribution violated tax laws, the Washington Post reported.

The check came from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a tax-exempt non-profit barred from contributing to political causes. The check went to And Justice For All, a committee that was the fundraising arm for Bondi's re-election campaign — and undeniably political in nature.

The donation's legality stayed under the radar for years because of an accounting error at the Trump Organization, which reported to the IRS that it had given $25,000 to a Kansas anti-abortion group called Justice for All.

"It's an unfortunate series of coincidences and errors, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Times/Herald in March.

What's so controversial about this campaign contribution?

It's the chronology.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit on Aug. 25, 2013, alleging that Trump University and its affiliates were "sham for-profit colleges" that ripped off 5,000 consumers. The suit sought $40 million in restitution.

A Sept. 14 Orlando Sentinel story noted that Schneiderman cited dozens of complaints filed with the Florida Attorney General Office in 2008, two years before Bondi took office. In that story, a Bondi spokeswoman was quoted as saying Florida was reviewing the New York lawsuit.

Three days later, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, based in New York, made the $25,000 contribution.

Though there's no specific date, Bondi's office declined to pursue an investigation.

Six months later — on Friday, March 14, 2014 — Trump hosted a fundraiser for Bondi at his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach, which was reported at the time by other Florida media outlets.

More here.