Donald Trump is looking to be the first Presidential candidate in history to make money from his campaign. Every revelation--the inflated rent he charges his campaign, the insistence on using his own venues whenever possible--the man pays himself an inflated price with campaign funds on virtually everything. It's simply mind-boggling.
The transaction is only illegal if he receives any royalties for the books that he purchased. Such an action would be illegal according to campaign finance laws. I’m pretty sure that an author gets royalties for any books that he or she sells through an outlet like Barnes & Noble.
The law is clear that he cannot accept royalties as a result of his campaign spending money and buying books. His campaign bought the books, probably in an attempt to then claim he is a best-selling author. That is why they bought them from a bookstore instead of online. It is clearly illegal.
No, Donald Trump did not buy Barnes and Noble books illegally. Although he may be rude and offensive to many different kinds of people in this country and world, he is still running for president and follows the law. Donald Trump would probably not do anything illegal, as he knows he is already under the close scrutiny of the public.