Pam Bondi Dives Into the Swamp

Talk about a revolving door.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, with Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas (left), who was indicted last month for violating campaign finance laws, as well as Giuliani and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in November 2018 in South Daytona, Florida.Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press

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Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general and more recently a lobbyist at a firm with extensive ties to President Donald Trump, will join the White House communications staff temporarily to help with messaging during the ongoing impeachment inquiry, according to reports Wednesday.

Talk about a revolving door.

In September 2013, the Donald J. Trump Foundation gave $25,000 to Bondi’s campaign for reelection as attorney general. A month later, Bondi announced that Florida would not join other states suing Trump for fraud over Trump University’s marketing of its seminars on real estate and management, even though many of Trump’s alleged victims lived in Florida. A Florida state prosecutor later said there was no evidence that the donation was illegal, but the incident has left Bondi dogged by allegations that she took a bribe from Trump.

But when Bondi left office, she didn’t exactly steer clear of ethical concerns. She joined Ballard Partners, a lobbying firm that touts its ties to Trump. Brian Ballard, the firm’s founder and a former lobbyist for Trump in Florida, launched the firm in 2017, capitalizing on Trump’s election. Starting last January, Bondi helped Ballard lobby the White House for clients including General Motors, Major League Baseball, and the Government of Qatar.

Bondi will work directly for Trump. That is a resume straight out of what Trump and his allies used to call the swamp.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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