The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump covertly paid a fine to the Internal Revenue Service for potentially trying to bribe Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The penalty stems from Trump’s charitable foundation, which reportedly violated a tax law by giving a political donation to a campaign group affiliated with Bondi, who — incidentally — has had her time in the spotlight of late.
The $2,500 tax penalty was paid after the Donald J. Trump Foundation did not list a $25,000 donation in 2013 to a political group affiliated with Bondi. Instead, the Foundation’s tax documents listed the donation to a Kansas-based group with a name similar to the Bondi one. The pro-Bondi group was called And Justice for All, while the Wichita-based nonprofit that supposedly received the donation is called Justice for All. The Foundation said this was a mistake, but The Post reported the situation came on the heels of Bondi possibly investigating fraud allegations against Trump University. Bondi ultimately did not pursue the investigation. The Kansas nonprofit said it had never received any sort of donation from The Foundation.
The Trump organization said it was unaware of the mistake until The Post and liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington started to investigate the donation earlier this year. Jeffrey McConney, senior vice president and controller at the Trump Organization, said once they had heard about the mistake, Trump filed paperwork with the IRS informing them of the donation and paid the fine. McConney chalked it up to a simple error:
“It was just an honest mistake. It wasn’t done intentionally to hide a political donation, it was just an error. We’ve done what [we] were instructed to do.”
The Post reports that the IRS has declined to comment on the situation, but Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said the Foundation needs to adhere to IRS rules, which would be to try to get the money back. The Associated Press reports that Bondi tried to give the donation back, but her efforts were rejected.