U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has given campaign contributions to state attorneys general while they considered decisions affecting his business, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The Journal said records showed that Trump, his family and associates donated in particular to attorneys general in New York, from the 1980s through incumbent Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat who said last month he had opened an inquiry into the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
"The money was given often when Mr. Trump’s companies had decisions pending in these offices," it said.
Reuters could not confirm the report.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, a New York real estate developer, has said during his campaign for the Nov. 8 election that as a businessman, he has made contribution to a number of politicians.
He says his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, is part of a corrupt system in which rich donors influence politics, and that he is an outsider who can fix it.
"In total, Mr. Trump has given about $140,000 to a dozen people who either were state attorneys general or running for the post from 2001 to 2014, according to donation records," the Journal said. "Some of the recipients returned the contributions."
The Washington Post has reported that Trump donated foundation money to support Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican, who was considering launching an investigation into Trump University, Trump’s for-profit education venture.
The foundation ended up paying a $2,500 fine to the IRS for that donation. A Trump Organization representative told the Post the donation was meant to be from Trump's personal account, and that it came from his foundation's account by clerical error.
(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)