Crime

Carson Admission Could Land Trump In Legal Trouble

| by Ray Brown
Ben CarsonBen Carson

In a candid interview after endorsing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, former candidate Ben Carson revealed the GOP front-runner might have violated federal law.

Speaking to Newsmax TV, Carson told host Steve Malzberg that Trump offered to give the retired neurosurgeon a role in his cabinet if elected president. Carson said the role would “be certainly in an advisory capacity” but couldn’t “reveal any details about it right now, because all of this is still very liquid.”

As pointed out by ThinkProgress, federal law prohibits promising or pledging a position in exchange for support of one’s candidacy. According to 18 U.S. Code 599: "Whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

Trump’s campaign has not commented on Carson’s statement.

This isn’t the first time Trump has been accused of breaking the law during his run for the Republican nomination.

After a supporter of Trump sucker-punched a protester at a rally in North Carolina, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office considered pressing charges against the billionaire for inciting a riot. Trump’s critics say his rhetoric has urged supporters to act out violently against people who come to protest the GOP front-runner.

After investigating, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said it would not seek to press charges against Trump.

Trump has also come under fire for his controversial Trump University, which is currently undergoing legal battles. Former students who claim the university is a scam, are suing Trump. This has brought up questions about Trump's business tactics as he touts his money-making skills as a major qualification to hold the nation's highest office.

The lawsuit made news again after Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi endorsed Trump ahead of the March 15 primary in Florida. That's because in 2013, Bondi's office announced it was reviewing the allegations made in the lawsuit to determine whether to get involved. Three days later, a Trump foundation made a $25,000 donation to a political action committee associated with Bondi, reported the Tampa Bay Times at the time.

Soon after, Bondi’s office declined to take action on the lawsuit.

Sources: ThinkProgress, Cornell University Law School, Tampa Bay Times / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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