During the 2016 campaign, controversy erupted over a pay-to-play scandal in which President-elect Donald Trump used his eponymous foundation to donate money to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's political campaign in return for her dismissal of charges against Trump University. Now Bondi is reportedly in talks for a position in the Trump White House.
NEW: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will be named to a post in the Trump White House, sources tell me. Trump aides finalizing her role.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 5, 2017
The Trump transition team had no comment on reports that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is being considered for a White House appointment, in yet another gross reversal of Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”
Trump and Bondi have already spent quality time in the swamp together, in a pay-to-play corruption scandal.
In 2013, a Bondi-related PAC accepted a $25,000 “donation” from the Trump Foundation just as her office was considering prosecuting Trump University. Two months later, her office announced it would not be pursuing a case.
The Trump Foundation, which is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General, was forced to pay a penalty of $2,500 for violating IRS regulations against political donations by charities.
Bondi’s potential appointment to a White House position signals that Trump has not been deterred by the penalties incurred by the misdealing with his foundation. Instead of ridding Washington of corruption, he is actually bringing officials accused of corruption to the White House with him.
It is a decision that signals to foreign officials and other influence-seekers that it may be possible to bribe people close to the president, if not the president himself.
DNC’s spokesperson, Adrienne Watson, released a pointed statement about the matter (emphasis mine):
Pam Bondi’s appointment by Trump to a position in our nation’s highest office will be the latest transaction between two people whose previous corrupt dealings hurt thousands of Americans who made the mistake of trusting Trump with their education and Bondi with protecting them from scams. Bondi is being rewarded once again for participating in Trump’s world of pay-to-play with a posh job in the White House. We shouldn’t be surprised – this is exactly the kind of corruption that Trump brings everywhere he goes. Jump in Ms. Bondi, the swamp is warm.