Donald Trump introduces Trump University at a press conference in Trump Tower, New York, May 2005.
Photo by Dan Herrick/KPA/ZUMA

Presumptive Republican nominee can’t shake ‘Trump U’ controversy

There were quite a few surprises in the new lineup for Republican speakers at the party’s national convention, but the Tampa Bay Times flagged one of the names that stood out.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, whose ties to Donald Trump have been a source of controversy, will have a prime-time speaking appearance at next week’s Republican National Convention.
 
Bondi is scheduled to give a five-minute address at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on the subject of law enforcement…. As the state’s chief legal officer, Bondi is the target of ethics complaints over her solicitation of a $25,000 campaign contribution from Trump in 2013.
As we’ve discussed before, the details surrounding Florida’s conservative A.G. paint an unflattering picture. Bondi briefly considered joining a multi-state suit against the controversial “school,” but the Florida Republican dropped the investigation after the Trump Foundation made a $25,000 contribution towards Bondi’s re-election.
 
And while that raises serious ethics questions, the controversy became more serious when we learned Bondi “personally solicited” the money from Trump while her office was considering a case against “Trump University.”
 
It’s against this backdrop that Trump and Republican officials have invited Bondi to deliver a high-profile, prime-time speech “on the subject of law enforcement”? Is this some kind of joke?
 
Norm Ornstein called the decision “cringe-worthy,” which seems quite fair under the circumstances.
 
In the meantime, the “Trump U” litigation is still pending in the courts, and the Washington Post reported overnight on the latest developments.
In his first public hearing on Trump University since being called a “hater of Donald Trump” by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel on Wednesday heard arguments about whether the candidate’s videotaped testimony in the case should be released to media organizations.
 
Curiel did not mention the attacks by Trump…. But Curiel pushed Trump’s attorney to defend his position that the videos should remain confidential.
Note, transcripts of Trump’s depositions have already been released, and they’re don’t do the Republican candidate any favors. But news organizations believe the public has a right to see the videos, and Trump’s lawyers are trying to prevent that.
 
Trump attorney Daniel Petrocelli said yesterday the videos “would be subjected to massive and perhaps unprecedented public dissemination.”
 
I’m not sure that’s a legal argument. The judge should agree to keep the videos hidden because, if they’re available to the public, people will see them?
 
Watch this space.
 
 
 

Donald Trump

Presumptive Republican nominee can't shake 'Trump U' controversy