15:28 GMT20 October 2020
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    Republican dark-horse presidential candidate Donald Trump paid a $2,500 IRS fine for an illegal $25,000 donation that his charity made to a campaign group supporting the reelection of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

    The Trump Foundation allocated the money to a Bondi-associated group in 2013. At the time, the Florida AG was considering joining a lawsuit brought by the state of New York against Trump University, as it had misstated that it was an accredited academic institution. Following the donation, Bondi did not participate in the legal action.

    The story would have disappeared, if the Washington Post and the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) did not spotlight the Trump organization’s misconduct.

    CREW revealed that the Trump charity made an illegal political contribution, and filed a case with the IRS.

    The Washington Post revealed that the Trump Foundation concealed cash donations for political groups in its tax filings. The Trump Foundation recorded that it had given the $25,000 to a non-existent Kansas charity, instead of the campaign organization linked to Bondi.

    Trump Foundation controller Jeffrey McConney described the donation as “an honest mistake” in an interview with the Washington Post.

    "It wasn’t done intentionally to hide a political donation, it was just an error," he claimed.

    Following the news, the liberal watchdog group claimed that, under IRS regulations, Bondi must return the money to the Trump Foundation.

    "It’s about getting the money back from the organization that wasn't allowed to have it in the first place," explained CREW’s Jordan Libowitz.

    Nancy Watkins, treasurer for Bondi's campaign group, stated that the money would not be returned. "Mr. Trump had reimbursed the foundation with a personal check,” she said, “and that was the end of it."

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    Tags:
    violation, illegal, donation, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Pam Bondi, Donald Trump, Florida, United States
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