Just days before the all-important Wisconsin primary, which shows Donald Trump trailing Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a watchdog group associated with Hillary Clinton has accused Trump of illegally promising a White House position in exchange for his endorsement.
According to Politico:
“It has recently come to light that Mr. Donald Trump may have willfully offered Dr. Ben Carson an appointment to his administration should he become president in return for supporting his candidacy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 599,” wrote Brad Woodhouse, the head of the David Brock-backed American Democracy Legal Fund. The letter is dated March 29 and addressed to Raymond Hulser, the head of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section.
“ADLF respectfully requests that you investigate this matter and take all appropriate action as soon as possible,” the letter says.
The complaint focuses on comments that Carson made in an interview with Newsmax TV on March 14, three days after the Trump campaign rolled out the endorsement of the retired neurosurgeon in Florida. Carson was vague when asked about what he and Trump had discussed the day before the endorsement. In the interview with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg, Carson said Trump would “surround himself with very good people.”
“I’m not going to reveal any details about it right now, because all of this is still very liquid,” Carson said.
He has explicitly since denied any quid pro quo, telling Yahoo News’ Bianna Golodryga on March 16 that any suggestion otherwise is “ridiculous.”
“That would be ridiculous. I would never ask for such a thing. And people take liberties and then you believe what they say. That’s just not true,” Carson said in that interview.
In the complaint, which features CNN and Washington Post articles reporting on the endorsement and the aforementioned Newsmax piece, Woodhouse wrote that “Dr. Carson’s comments strongly suggest that Mr. Trump promised him an administration position in return for his endorsement.”
“Dr. Carson’s comments indicate that Mr. Trump used the promise of a role in his administration to secure Dr. Carson’s support for his presidential campaign,” he concluded. “For the above stated reasons, we respectfully request that you undertake an immediate investigation of this matter.”
ADLF’s complaint against Trump is the second the group has filed against the candidate in the last nine months, and is among a series alleging various misdeeds by politicians.
On Wednesday, it released three separate complaints against Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, and another against Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) on Thursday. The organization also filed a complaint against Trump with the Federal Election Commission last July, alleging that he did not disclose paying what had been reported to be actors to appear at his campaign kickoff rally.
A spokeswoman for Trump and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Here’s a report on Trump meeting with the RNC on Thursday:
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