Trump accused of quid pro quo with Carson

By Cheryl Chumley

Former GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson and Republican front-runner Donald Trump (Photo: Twitter)
Former GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson and Republican front-runner Donald Trump (Photo: Twitter)

The American Democracy Legal Fund, a political watchdog group that’s backed by supporters of Hillary Clinton, filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging Republican front-runner Donald Trump illegally promised former neurosurgeon Ben Carson an appointment in his White House administration in exchange for an endorsement.

The complaint reported by Politico points to a Newsmax TV interview Carson had in mid-March, just three days after he publicly endorsed Trump, and says statements the former neurosurgeon made seem to indicate he provided the endorsement as a sort of quid pro quo deal.

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“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 Bard Woodhouse, who heads up the ADLF, which is supported by David Brock, a Clinton ally whose group has also filed an FEC ethics complain against Sen. Bernie Sanders, and another complaint against Trump last July.

The letter goes on, Politico reported: “ADLF respectfully requests that you investigate this matter and take all appropriate action as soon as possible.”

On March 14, Carson told Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg that Trump would “surround himself with very good people.” He made the comments in reference to relaying what he and Trump had discussed the day before about Carson’s endorsement.

“I’m not going to reveal any details about it right now because all of this is still very liquid,” Carson said then.

He’s since denied any quid pro quo. On March 16, for instance, Carson told Yahoo News he “would never ask for such a thing” and “that would be ridiculous.”

As Politico noted, the complaint also includes articles from CNN and the Washington Post about the endorsement and Carson’s Newsmax comments.

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The ADLF claimed Carson’s “comments strongly suggest that Mr. Trump promised him an administration position in return for his endorsement. … 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. For the above stated reasons, we respectfully request that you undertake an immediate investigation of this matter.”

The ADLF accused Sanders’ campaign just a few days ago of taking in more money from individual donors than allowed by law, the Hill reported. And in separate complaints, ADLF claimed the Democratic senator’s campaign camp didn’t properly disclose a Facebook ad it ran during the New Hampshire primary, and that a super-PAC for Sanders is wrongfully using his name to illegally coordinate with the campaign.

The ADLF, just this week, also filed a complaint against Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Politico reported.


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