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Presidential Nominees Foundation Fined By IRS For Illegal Contribution


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Donald Trump paid a $2,500 IRS penalty, the Washington Post reports, over that $25,000 contribution his charitable foundation made to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi right before Bondi decided not to investigate Trump University for fraud.

The $2,500 is not because that $25,000 contribution looked an awful lot like a bribe, but because the gift was illicit for a whole other set of reasons.

No, the penalty is because the Trump Foundation is a non-profit, and as such, is not supposed to make political donations.

The conveniently timed contribution right before Bondi didn’t investigate Trump University for fraud should have come from Donald Trump himself. And the explanation for how it supposedly came from his foundation as an accident, an accident that went undiscovered by the IRS until reporters and ethics groups drew attention to it, is … hard to believe.

First, Trump decided to give to Bondi’s group, called “And Justice for All.” Then, the Trump accounts payable clerk screwed up. Seeing a Utah organization called “And Justice for All” that was a legitimate recipient of foundation gifts, the clerk wrote check from the foundation. That, we are to believe, was innocent mistake number one.

Somehow, the check went to Bondi’s “And Justice for All” anyway. Convenient, huh?


Then, when the Trump Foundation sent in its tax filings that year, it compounded the original error by leaving out any mention of a political gift. When the IRS form asked if the Trump Foundation had spent money for political purposes that year, the foundation wrote "No."


Then, the Trump Foundation told the IRS about a gift that did not exist.


The foundation told the IRS that it had given $25,000 to a third group, a charity in Kansas with a similar name, "Justice for All." In fact, the Trump Foundation had not actually sent the Kansas group any money.


This new, incorrect listing had the effect of camouflaging the prohibited gift. Trump's CFO said that the listing of the Kansas group was another mistake, made by the foundation's accountants.

Is that innocent mistakes two and three?

Three and four?

However many innocent mistakes we’re to believe were involved here, even if you set aside the appearance of bribery and the contribution illegally going from a charitable foundation to a political group, this is at a minimum a small hint that, contrary to his assertions, Donald Trump might not hire the best people.

His experience managing a business might not actually be proof of his competence as president.

Huh. Maybe the media should spend, say, 50 percent the energy looking into the Trump Foundation it devotes to the Clinton Foundation.

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