New York authorities don’t think too highly of the financial advice doled out for years at get-rich seminars affiliated with part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump. Many customers who spent thousands to attend say they were ripped off. But it seems as if The Donald himself can still spot a good investment from time to time.
Take his foundation’s sudden interest in the reelection campaign of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Just days after Ms. Bondi’s office announced that it might to join a lawsuit against Mr. Trump and his school, Mr. Trump’s foundation cut a $25,000 check to a Pam Bondi reelection committee.
Despite the timing, the political committee found nothing amiss. It kept the money, and Ms. Bondi decided not to participate in the lawsuit. The committee’s treasurer told the Tampa Bay Times that “we are comfortable with the propriety of the contribution.”
Ms. Bondi does not have direct control over the committee that took the cash. But she could ask that the money be returned to Mr. Trump’s foundation, and she should. Even if the donation had no effect on her decision regarding the lawsuit — only one disgruntled Trump University customer in Florida, Charles Jacobson, 62, of Delray Beach, reportedly has registered a complaint since Ms. Bondi took office — it creates a significant appearance of impropriety.
The lawsuit was filed in August by New York’s attorney general against Mr. Trump and the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative (formerly Trump University), which New York accuses of being a “sham.” Many customers criticize the company and its affiliates for promising to reveal Mr. Trump’s deal-making secrets but teaching little of use. New York seeks $40 million in restitution on behalf of 5,000 customers.
But not all Trump seminar attendees are affected. As The Post’s Jeff Ostrowski reported last month, several Palm Beach County residents who felt jilted by such seminars had paid their money to a company now out of business called the Trump Institute of Boca Raton, which paid to license Trump University’s name. That shuttered company is not named in the lawsuit.
Whatever the outcome of the litigation, Florida’s decision not to participate is tainted by Mr. Trump’s donation. It ought to go without saying that law enforcement officials shouldn’t accept money, directly or indirectly, from people they are investigating. Yet Ms. Bondi seems to have concluded that such lofty principles are a bad investment .
for The Post Editorial Board