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Thursday, October 13, 2016

“Pay to Play” taken to the max

Image result for trump bribes attorney generalWhile the amount of Trump’s…ahem…charitable giving is under investigation courtesy of the Washington Post, his political contributions are coming under even worse scrutiny than that.

In addition to his giving $25,000 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at the same time she was considering investigating Trump U. (which we’re sure is just a coincidence), he’s given donations to several other attorneys general who were weighing investigations into his businesses, too.

There’s a word for that. It’s called bribes, and at least some of them are catalogued in the Wall Street Journal, which isn’t exactly the most liberal publication out there. Trump and his associates have donated to the campaigns of attorneys general in New York for 30 years or more, up to and including Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman is the attorney general who’s ordered the Trump Foundation to stop soliciting donations immediately, and he’s involved in one of the fraud cases against Trump U. WSJ discovered that the contributions to these campaigns all just happened to coincide with pending investigations into Trump’s business dealings.

Clearly, the bribes to Schneiderman didn’t work – in fact, he returned them. Trump didn’t like that and claimed that Schneiderman asked for the donations.

One of those donations—a $15,000 pledge to Robert Abrams back in 1985—came just as Trump needed to get Abrams’ permission for three apartment-building conversions.

While Abrams was unable to return that money, another former attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, returned them twice. The first time, it was because Trump had plans in Spitzer’s office that were pending approval.

The second time, however, it was because Trump was involved in a dispute with potential condo buyers who wanted their deposit back. Spitzer’s office had jurisdiction over that case.

Trump donated something like $60,000 to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, while she was considering investigating Trump U.

Trump freely acknowledges that political donations buys influence, and puts himself out there as an “outsider candidate.” You can’t be an outsider when you bribe politicians like this. When Rand Paul called him on that, he whined that Paul was taking him out of context.

Oh, please.

Author Rika Christensen is an experienced writer and loves debating politics. Engage with her and see more of her work by following her on Facebook and Twitter.