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Florida’s Republican Attorney General Takes Bribe Not to Prosecute Trump

This nasty bit of political prostitution may explain why cases against Donald Trump University have disappeared in Republican run states. In this case in Florida, the state’s Republican chief legal whore asks for money to make the lawsuit go away.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) - State of Florida

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R)…Moving prostitution from the street corner into the courhouse

Florida attorney general dropped Trump U fraud suit right after GOP candidate gave her $25,000

Florida’s Republican attorney general, Pam Bondi, personally asked Donald Trump for a campaign contribution before dropping out of a lawsuit charging Trump University with fraud, the New Civil Rights Movement reports.

Bondi asked for the contribution before publicly announcing she would join a New York state suit against Trump U. Four days later, she received a check from Trump’s foundation. Bondi subsequently announced she was no longer suing Trump, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.

The check was in the amount of $25,000, and the donation was in violation of rules governing political activities by charities.

A spokesman for Bondi told the Associated Press that she was “unaware” of the dozens of consumer complaints levied against Trump’s seminars before she asked for the donation in 2013.

The AP reports that the timing of the donation is note-worthy, because Trump has bragged about expecting to get favors from politicians when he donates money to them.

For example, at a rally in Iowa in January, the AP quotes Trump as boasting, “When I want something I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass. It’s true.”

Federal law, according to the Washington Post, makes it illegal to solicit money with the intent of being influenced in official actions.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, along with a federal class action lawsuit in California, accuse Trump of defrauding students of $35,000 each with promises of real estate education they either didn’t receive or found useless, the AP reports.

Though Bondi claimed ignorance about the complaints, the AP also obtained thousands of pages of consumer complaints against Trump U, largely owned by Trump himself, which were filed with Bondi’s office. More than 20 people filed complaints with the Florida attorney general, many saying they paid for training materials which were never received.

“I was laid off work for the first time in my life and really need this money to support my family,” one man pleaded, seeking a refund. “$1,400 is so much money for my family.”

Bondi’s isn’t the first case in which a Republican attorney general has been accused of dropping a case against Trump U in return for campaign contributions.

Last week, the AP reported that then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott — who is now the governor — received a $35,000 campaign contribution from Trump three years after dropping a proposed 2010 lawsuit against Trump U. After the AP reported the story, former Texas Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owen said the case was dropped for political reasons.

The AP points out that when the attorneys general dropped the lawsuits, they left consumers in their states on their own to try and collect their refunds from Trump.

Both politicians have endorsed the celebrity businessman in his presidential bid.

 

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Scalia and Thomas Dine With Plaintiffs Before Hearing Their Case…

The most reliable in-the-pocket judges took some time out to have dinner with one of the parties appearing before their court later this month…

At the far right wing Federalist Society.

Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

The occasion was last Thursday, when all nine justices met for a conference to pore over the petitions for review. One of the cases at issue was a suit brought by 26 states challenging the sweeping healthcare overhaul passed by Congress last year, a law that has been a rallying cry for conservative activists nationwide.

The justices agreed to hear the suit; indeed, a landmark 5 1/2-hour argument is expected in March, and the outcome is likely to further roil the 2012 presidential race, which will be in full swing by the time the court’s decision is released.

The lawyer who will stand before the court and argue that the law should be thrown out is likely to be Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general during the George W. Bushadministration.

Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles. Another firm that sponsored the dinner, Jones Day, represents one of the trade associations that challenged the law, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Another sponsor was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, which has an enormous financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. The dinner was held at a Washington hotel hours after the court’s conference over the case. In attendance was, among others, Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican and an avowed opponent of the healthcare law.

The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

Scalia and Thomas have shown little regard for critics who say they too readily mix the business of the court with agenda-driven groups such as the Federalist Society. And Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a high-profile conservative activist.

 

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