Trump has been buying state attorneys general
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has throughout his career given campaign contributions to state attorneys general while they weighed decisions affecting his business, a review of his political donations shows.
The issue recently surfaced during a controversy over his 2013 campaign contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was reviewing a fraud case against Trump University.
Records show Mr. Trump, his family and associates donated in particular to attorneys general in New York, from Robert Abrams in the 1980s through incumbent Eric Schneiderman. The money was given often when Mr. Trump’s companies had decisions pending in these offices. Attorneys general are law-enforcement officials with significant oversight of business practices in their states. …
In total, Mr. Trump has given about $140,000 to a dozen people who either were state attorneys general or running for the post from 2001 to 2014, according to donation records. Some of the recipients returned the contributions. Totals before 2001 weren’t available.
Cynthia Darrison, a former fundraiser for ex-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, said Mr. Trump persuaded friends and colleagues to donate, too. “He did a fundraiser for Eliot,” she said. “He had all his vendors come in and write checks—no different than anybody who I asked to raise $250,000.”
A few weeks ago, Mr. Trump acknowledged paying a $2,500 fine to the Internal Revenue Service for a donation to a committee supporting the 2014 re-election of Florida’s Ms. Bondi. The $25,000 donation was paid by his charitable foundation, an improper use of nonprofit funds under IRS rules. Mr. Garten said it was a clerical error.