Another Trump Pay-to-Play Story of Donation Squashing Prosecution?
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Did Donald Trump pay off then Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for ordering the head of a consumer protection agency to drop a damaging investigation that was ready for prosecution against Donald Trump and his real estate scam, Trump University? And is current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton now trying to hide the facts?
Paxton, best-known for his war against LGBT people – especially transgender people – in the Lone Star state, and for being indicted on three felony fraud counts, has issued a cease and desist letter to a former state regulator who recently released documents showing he was forced to drop a case against Trump University.
Former Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens says for political reasons in 2010 he was ordered to drop his investigation of Trump University. CBS News reports that Owens "told The Associated Press on Friday that decision was highly unusual and left the bilked students on their own to attempt to recover their tuition money from the celebrity businessman."
In 2010, when he was conducting the investigation into Trump University, Owens' boss was the Texas Attorney General, now Governor Greg Abbott. Trump in 2013 reportedly made donations totaling $35,000 to Abbott's election campaign.
Now retired, Owens "said his team had built a solid case against the now-presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but was told to drop it after Trump's company agreed to cease operations in Texas."
According to the documents provided by Owens, his team sought to sue Trump, his company and several business associates to help recover more than $2.6 million students spent on seminars and materials, plus another $2.8 million in penalties and fees.
Owens said he was so surprised at the order to stand down he made a copy of the case file and took it home.
"It had to be political in my mind because Donald Trump was treated differently than any other similarly situated scam artist in the 16 years I was at the consumer protection office," said Owens, who lives in Houston.
Trump is under fire for his $25,000 donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's re-election campaign, made while she was deliberating on joining a multi-state lawsuit against Trump and Trump University. After the payment, Bondi declined to join the lawsuit.