Trump Could Be Toast. If He’s Charged With Criminal Tax Fraud, There Is No Statute Of Limitations


Donald Trump is a contradiction in terms. On the one hand, he lives for the limelight. He gets totally juiced by the screams of his followers. Their adoration of Trump’s iconic self, the allegedly self-made billionaire playboy, who gets anything and anyone he wants (“They let you do it when you’re a star”) is the narcotic which keeps Trump alive. He can’t get enough of it. Then on the other hand, Trump is a man of secrets. He lives in the shadows and has to hide his dealings, because he’s a grifter, fleecing one mark and then going on to the next. He’s a total financial fraud, as Tuesday’s New York Times piece made eminently clear. He’s fought Congress tooth and nail on any effort made at oversight, which is what Congress is elected to do, and now it looks like the jig is up. Trump might be going to jail.

Journalist David Cay Johnston has followed Trump’s doings for 30 years and Trump’s sobriquet for Johnston is “the weird dude.” He has a must-read piece up in Daily Beast Insider.*

A typical business person tries to grow their enterprises. Not Trump. He squeezes cash out of them as fast as possible. Then he abandons them, leaving behind unpaid debts. Trump is a financial locust who flits off to find another sucker whose enterprise he can devour.

This business model, this utterly corrupt business model, works so long as Trump can find another victim. There is no shortage of Americans gullible enough to believe that Trump will make them rich even as he destroys their wealth. And because he does it with a pen, it’s almost impossible to prosecute these schemes thanks to weak laws on fraud and constrained law-enforcement resources.

This is eau de Trump, his undistilled essence, the guiding principal by which he lives his life. Remember the sophomoric jingle, “find ’em, fuck ’em, forget ’em?” That’s Donald Trump to a tee. He should have that phrase carved on his tombstone, it would truly be the most honest summation of what his life has meant, exactly who he was and how he lived, as a man, in this life.

Trump paid taxes only two years out of the eleven year period that The Times reported on — and Johnston points out that he may have recovered even that money in future years, due to complex tax laws. Plus, we know that Trump hires genius accountants.

In any event, here are the cold hard figures, which may end up putting Trump away, because people do go to prison for tax fraud, and there is no statute of limitations on the crime.

In 1989, when the Trump Organization was hurtling toward collapse, he reported $52.9 million of interest income. That was more than 110 times the interest income he had reported three years earlier in 1986.

The more than $1 million per week of interest for 1989 implies that Trump held more than $660 million of 30-year Treasury bonds or more than $350 million of risky junk bonds paying an eye-popping 15 percent interest.

Who paid that interest?—if it was interest. We know Trump was for years deeply entangled with a major international cocaine trafficker, has done squirrely deals with Russians that on the surface make no economic sense, among other strange financial deals. Was what Trump reported as interest actually payment for something else? If so, was it benign or sinister?

These are compelling questions, and the answers are something that Donald Trump does not want you to see. He’s been hiding his tax returns for good reason, because they offer a bread crumbs trail through the maze of his despicable business dealings; and those expose him for the serial con artist that he is. He built his master-of-the-universe facade, with writer Tony Schwartz doing all the heavy lifting, writing every word of the seminal Trump fantasy, “Art of the Deal,” and then solidified it with his reality TV show. It’s all a pipe dream, designed to scam the simple minded, and this scam miraculously took him to the highest office in the land — with more than a little help from his Russian friends, and the studious enabling of the GOP.

Tuesday may have been the turning of the tide for Trump. It is devoutly to be wished. Harry Truman said, “The buck stops here.” In Trump’s case, it may be, “the bus stops here.” Trump has lived his life throwing people under the proverbial bus, be they wives, business associates, or the fools that he has conned into maxing out their credit cards and mortgaging their dreams to Trump University — an early annoyance in his campaign, which he slithered out of with a $25Mil settlement.

The pustulant boil on the body politic that is Trump may have been lanced Tuesday, by this one gem of investigative reporting. One thing is for certain, this situation is going to get a whole lot messier before it gets cleaned up.


*the Daily Beast Insider article linked to herein is behind a pay wall. You can’t access it without subscribing, but I will certainly endeavor to answer any questions you want to ask about it.

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  1. That would be “Financial Vampire”, if you please! Count tRumpula sucks his victims’ assets dry, then wings off in search of another victim.

    • Financial and emotional vampire. He sucks people of their money and their good will. Once he’s gotten the cash and the praise — go screw and on to the next one.

      • As you stated, Ursula, it’s a plan that only works if you’ve another victim to move onto. He’s likely running out of those.

        • We’re his victims, you and me. He got quite a haul this time, access to the coffers of the USA. We don’t even know the degree to which he has pilfered and pillaged, we’re still determining that. Mar-a-Lago is the tip of the iceberg, I am sure of that.

          • All true but we’re the last ones, I suspect. Now that the whole world who knows his game, he’s nowhere he can really go after this.

  2. Some of the most controversial people have been caught and penned in by the IRS … like Al Capone in Chicago, a trip to Alcatraz, made his day, I have to wonder which place will be his last address …

    The Federal prison system has been spoon fed more money as the private owners jack up the prices with so many new occupants being provided …
    Trump, like me, has reached the shorter segment of life, but at least for now, I can enjoy the sun rises and sets from my own yard, and THEY can be beautiful …

    Trump better be careful who he mixes with, for his own protection, I suggest that he will have to be segregated from the general population in the prison, may require a quiet corner cell, a small BLK/WHITE TV, no FOX news, just public tv and prison news, a regular diet like all the other occupants enjoy … maybe a job, like loading the license making machine, oh no, that’s too complex, how about restroom maintenance? At 25 cents an hour, you’ll have enough money by the end of the week to buy a plastic single blade shaver …. a new bar of soap, a pad of paper and pencil, no more fancy killer pens like you used on your portfolios …

    You shit on us, Don, you will get everything you deserve …

    • Oh, this is going to be a real scream to watch. I just saw a headline pop up on my screen that the State of New York wants to obtain Trump’s tax returns. New York is already after him. The former acting AG, Barbara Underwood, shut down his faux charity foundation. There’s all kinds of action happening there. And you know full well that state crimes are not pardonable.

      Oh, shit, I just saw a headline I have to run to. Hucky Boo Boo says she understands the law better than Jerry Nadler. HA!

      See you later, friend.

  3. P.S. That would be “The pustulant, festering boil on the Rump of the American body politic…”, if you please.

    • “…that has caused us great pain and consternation and that we are so looking forward to having completely removed as the cancer in our lives that it is…..”

      Trump lends himself to purple prose, doesn’t he?

    • Not much on the purple prose myself here. Calling him a moron who is outplaying himself seems enough to describe current events.

  4. He’s not going to prison, he won’t be indicted, he won’t even be charged with a crime, he will get away with all of this and no one can do anything about it, or won’t even half-ass try. All of these oversight committees are a waste of time as they are not bullrushing his bullshit they are only pussing around barely making any sort of noise much less cold hard demands while Trump and his gang laugh louder and louder. When he finally does leave office, he will with a full compliment of lifetime SS protection, security clearance, and any and all other ‘benefits’ of high office. and that sucks but I think he’ll get away it.

    • Look, I appreciate your cynicism and after all that we have seen, it is well founded. But consider this: we are further ahead now, towards the end of Trump, then we were a few days ago. At least we are making progress. I seriously doubt if he is going to just walk away unscathed from all this. And remember the 15th is coming up and Mueller will be testifying. Plus China announced this morning that they’re going to respond in kind to Trump’s latest tariff threat — a lot of arrows are going Trump’s direction from a lot of sources. I cannot believe that all of them will simply miss. He’s guilty as hell for a lot of things and something has to stick.

      • Everyone knows he is as guilty as hell, that’s not the point. But other than weak threats with no follow up, I’m not seeing any upside to this clusterfuck. Mueller testify? nope, subpoenas? toilet paper, China? China can completely stop any and all trade just to stick it up Trump’s ass and they’d be screwing themselves but hey, Chinese president Ping Pong is just another despot tyrant of the world so you think he gives one shit about his people? Trump? he’d spin it into a win for him while we go down the toilet faster than we are now so no they won’t, and I believe there’s some under the table shit going on with China just like with him and Russia, him and North Korea and Saudi Arabia and any other country Trump can make personal deals with to profit off of office. Sorry I’m not seeing it.

        • And you could be right, lone wolf. Sadly, you could be right. I’m not trying to be Pollyanna. I’m just of a mind set that if we do everything we can possibly do, something has got to work. The one thing we absolutely cannot do is give up.

          • Complacency is one of my biggest fears, how could anyone actually believe and vote for Trump, and honestly believe the perennially failed businessman could run a country like ours? OMG, this man has no political sense, no morals, he has no reason whatsoever being in the WH, but they did and he is, and we let him by being complacent. But he is a crack fraudster and is brilliant at it, he has to be, that’s his whole life, fraud, and that’s why I think he will get away with this shit, along with a little help from his friends, of course.

          • Actually…given recent revelations, he’s anything BUT a crack fraudster. He’s in fact failed at it so badly that he’s always needed others to bail him out. It sounds to me that you might be falling into the opposite trap of magnifying him into unearned Bond villain status. All that does is increase your fear, which may be less useful than you think.

          • And on that note, do recall what happened to John Gotti, skated by for years until he betrayed the wrong person. He wound up dying in prison, going from the Teflon Don to the Velcro Don. Nothing I’ve seen as yet tells me Trump isn’t headed for anywhere different, assuming his fast food diet doesn’t do him in first.

          • I remember what happened to Gotti, and there’s nothing I’d like to see more than Trump in an orange jumpsuit behind bars, he should’ve been there 20-30 years ago, but I doubt we’ll ever see it.

          • As strange as this situation has become, it may be time to revise our notion of the “impossible”.

          • Lone Wolf,
            I, like Ursula and you, possess a long cynical streak.
            When I despair, I remember 2 things.
            1. Any positive long-term social change takes steady, unremitting work. Nothing happens in warp speed. The problem with this criminal enterprise is Dangerous and I’m not sure we can wait.

            2.There are always the state charges which can’t be pardoned.

            So, as long as Nadler keeps digging, and demos don’t suffer from “feces fatigue” I will not quit fighting.

            I hope you do, too.

          • No, I will never give up, but I do need to ‘de stress’ from time to time by kicking the dog! ( the garbage can )

          • It’s incredible what these people get away with. And right now, I can’t even compose myself on the topic of “getting away with.” Long story short, a malpractice attorney, whom I was hoping would take my case against the quack who couldn’t diagnose something as simple as an arthritic hip, declined to take my case — and i don’t blame him. It’s very complex, it stretches out over a number of years, etc. So, the bottom line is, this *%(@$$&@ who malpracticed me, who almost killed me on one occasion by mis-prescribing Xanax, walks.

            Point being, so many of the laws are designed to protect the perpetrators, not the victims. I may write about this at some point, but for right now, color me distraught and disillusioned.

          • You make a good point here and one that we must bear in mind at all times: we must persist. Or, to paraphrase the famous Warren quote, “Nevertheless, we must persist.”

            Trump and his cabal are the biggest clan of crooks and liars we’ve ever seen — and I was saying that about Nixon, back in the day. Little did I know! I remember how the young college kid version of me was so outraged. I was the very picture of righteous indignation. And I compare that time to this, those crooks to these, and….words fail me. I’m beyond astonishment at how far we have fallen.

            But, nevertheless, we must persist.

            Thanks for dropping by to read and I hope to see you in the threads again.

      • You know, I certainly hope you are correct. I think it benefits all of us right at the moment to be glass half-full, alert and informed citizens because otherwise we’d descend into a nation of no-can-doers and this isn’t acceptable in a democracy we are being called upon, each and every damned one of us, to help save. An uninformed or misinformed polity? Shoot, we may as well just turn over our rights and our country to the Republicans who are a cohesive bunch of autocrat worshipers.

        Now, what about in the moment, this news that executive privilege is being invoked to stop the Mueller report from ever being released in unredacted form? And Mueller himself? He is leaving government soon, very soon. So, is there something in the wind that would attempt to keep him from testifying? If so, how would that work? Because, if this is the new and expanded version of “executive privilege” then we’re already entering the land of dictatorship.

        • We have to resist until the last one of us is dead. That may sound melodramatic, but I think it’s the truth. We cannot get complacent and just roll over. We have to keep fighting.

          • And that sentiment, Ursula, applies ESPECIALLY on the bad days. Mourn the losses for a little bit…then brush yourself off and get back to it. Anything else, anything less, they win.

    • I personally have never found despair useful as a response to a bad situation. It neither lessens the sting when things go awry nor provides you with any incentive to take the situation as it comes. It just cripples you, which is precisely what our opponents want.

      Moreover, I once heard it said that despair is for people who absolutely know what the future will bring. Especially in THIS situation, NOBODY’S in that position. So…the more useful response is to soldier on and be grateful for every day we can wake up without him having managed to end us overnight.

      • Bareshark,
        When I was in elementary we read The Red Badge of Courage, which left a big, complex impression on me. Being that young, I scoffed at its relevance in my life (and it offended my pacifist bend.)

        Now I see there have been pivotal historical events where ordinary folks have made a difference. Maybe I have been unconsciously waiting for such a challenge.

        This is a dark time, but history will judge us.

  5. People legitimately wonder how the hell Trump got away with it all that time. It’s a combination of things that should piss all of us regular folks, and even a lot of business folks who don’t deal in high end real estate off as well, although that group has also benefited from the first factor.

    First of all Reagan had the IRS shift its priorities – away from enforcement with rich people and corporations and more towards individuals.

    Second, real estate has all kinds of beneficial (to the big boys) provisions built in (and continually updated) to allow all kinds of financial maneuvering individuals and many other businesses can’t get away with.

    Finally, and I just learned this last night from a pundit with expertise in tax law & enforcement keep in mind that Trump seldom had any tax liability. Even in the two years out of the ten the NYT wrote about he didn’t pay very much. So in practice what happens when the tax liability is negative (IOW an audit won’t generate any money) to begin with they usually just close the file and move on to a case where they think they can recoup some money. Basically if your losses are so big that your tax liability is WAY below zero they close any review/audit and move on.

    Now however they have good reason to go back and take a closer look because if fraud was committed to make the losses look worse than they were, to hide income and a host of other things they’ve got Trump by his shrunken nasty balls.

  6. Between this, the House Judiciary Committee voting on citing Barr for contempt and Elijah Cummings threatening to withhold the salaries of any Fed employee who doesn’t cooperate (yeah, the top guys are worth millions but their subordinates are strictly paycheck to paycheck), I’d say that the fight between Trump and the Dems is on. Is it a coincidence that the day before NY legislature passes legislation to make Donald’s life difficult, the revelation of how much money he’s lost over the years comes out?

    • The news of the past 48 hours has been incredible. And it’s not going to slow down. I think that the revelation of the tax returns may turn out to be the watershed moment we’ve all been waiting for. And next Thursday, the 15h, is Mueller Time, at long last.

    • I don’t know about Trump going to jail, either, but he has set himself up to be led a merry chase. He’s flagrantly broken enough laws, that he’s in for some hellfire. Maybe not prison, but some hassles. I don’t see him walking away scotfree, that’s for sure.


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