Thursday, September 1, 2016

Only One Presidential Candidate Has Been Fined For "Pay For Play" And It's Not Hillary


Donald Trump likes to refer to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as "Crooked Hillary," but it's actually Trump himself who's been found guilty of violating tax laws by failing to report a $25,000 political donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's campaign group.

Donald Trump paid the IRS a $2,500 penalty this year, an official at Trump's company said, after it was revealed that Trump's charitable foundation had violated tax laws by giving a political contribution to a campaign group connected to Florida's attorney general.

From the Washington Post:

The improper donation, a $25,000 gift from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, was made in 2013. At the time, Attorney General Pam Bondi was considering whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University. She decided not to pursue the case.

Earlier this year, The Washington Post and a liberal watchdog group raised new questions about the three-year-old gift. The watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed a complaint with the IRS — noting that, as a registered nonprofit, the Trump Foundation was not allowed to make political donations.

The Post reported another error, which had the effect of obscuring the political gift from the IRS.

In that year's tax filings, The Post reported, the Trump Foundation did not notify the IRS of this political donation. Instead, Trump's foundation listed a donation — also for $25,000 — to a Kansas charity with a name similar to that of Bondi's political group. In fact, Trump's foundation had not given the Kansas group any money.

The prohibited gift was, in effect, replaced with an innocent-sounding but nonexistent donation.

So, you see what happened here? Bondi asked for a donation to her campaign group, Trump made the donation, and suddenly Bondi decided not to investigate fraud charges against Trump University.

That's about as crooked as you can get.

Trump was required to pay a 10% fine equaling $2,500.

Of course, the Trump campaign called the whole thing an "honest" mistake.

At the end of 2104, The Trump Foundation only had $1.4 million in the bank and no staff. You would think a multi-billionaire who talks a lot about how much he donates would have a more substantial foundation.

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