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Sunday, Jan 20, 2019
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Trump Foundation under fire in New York, reviving Bondi connection

A lawsuit the New York state attorney general's office filed today against the Donald J. Trump Foundation brings up a connection to Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi.

In 2013, Trump gave Bondi's political committee $25,000 in support of her re-election effort — money that came from the foundation and violated tax laws.

The lawsuit called it "unlawful political activity." Trump in 2016 paid the IRS a $2,500 fine.

Trump also used his foundation to pay a Florida charity $100,000 to resolve a dispute with the city of Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago.

And Trump used foundation money to buy a $10,000 painting of himself that he displayed at his Doral golf club.

A section of the New York State lawsuit against the Trump Foundation.

The Bondi donation raised questions because it came days after the Republican Attorney General publicly said she was considering joining a New York state investigation into Trump University in 2013, which had significant Florida ties.

Correction: Bondi's office pointed out that Bondi never said she was considering joining an investigation. At the time, a Bondi spokeswoman told the Orlando Sentinel that, "We are currently reviewing the allegations in the New York complaint," but neither Bondi nor her office went further than that.

Bondi later said there were not many complaints about Trump University in Florida, and she strongly denied any connection to the political donation, which she personally solicited.

Hope Hicks, then Trump campaign spokeswoman, told the Times that "there was never any discussion of Trump University" during that phone call when Bondi asked for the donation.

"The ethics commission found — everyone found — that nothing was done wrong there," Bondi told reporters in Tallahassee on Thursday. "We've hashed this out already."

Read more:

Tracing the controversy of Trump's $25,000 donation to Pam Bondi

In Trump Institute, Donald Trump had Florida partners with a record of fraud

Times Tallahassee bureau chief Steve Bousquet contributed to this report.

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