July 6, 2016 — CREW filed a complaint with the Inspector General for Florida’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the state’s Commission on Ethics requesting an investigation to determine whether Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi violated the law by failing to investigate or take legal action regarding complaints against Trump University and related entities after the Trump Foundation made a $25,000 contribution to a political committee supporting her.
In March, CREW filed an IRS complaint against the Trump Foundation for making the donation, which was illegal under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. The complaint came after CREW filed two Public Records Act requests with the Florida Office of the Attorney General on March 17 and March 22. The resulting documents showed that the OAG received at least 22 complaints regarding Trump University, the Trump Institute, and related entities between February 2008 and May 2011. Just days before the contribution, which Bondi personally solicited from Donald Trump, OAG told the Orlando Sentinel, “We are currently reviewing the allegations” in a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against Trump University and Mr. Trump. A week later they told the Palm Beach Post the same thing.
Details of OAG’s decision-making process are not clear, but within a month after the Trump Foundation’s contribution arrived, they were telling reporters that “there was no consideration of whether to join” the New York lawsuit. OAG also may have decided around this time not to investigate the complaints it received.
OAG later told reporters that it did not investigate or join the lawsuit because it only received a single complaint during Attorney General Bondi’s tenure. However, OAG had received numerous complaints before Bondi took office, and it took action in other matters based on complaints filed before she took office.