It was only a little more than two weeks ago that the State of New York sued Donald Trump and his three oldest children (leaving out Tiffany, rewarded for her good sense in staying well away from her father). As we all know, the basis of the suit arose out of the fact that the Trump Foundation served as nothing more than another check book for expenses incurred by Donald Trump personally. Apparently, Trump believed that he could pay personal debts with his foundation money, so long as the money ended up at another charity, even if it was a payment mandated by lawsuit.
No one honestly believes this is legal, including Trump. The only people who do this are people who believe they will not be caught. It would seem that Trump never had any fear that he would be caught doing anything prior to being president, given all he did, and all he got away with. It also appears that Trump might’ve gotten away with all of it, had he not gosh darn won that presidential election he clearly didn’t really want to win. Remember the look on his face that night? I recall the face of a man thinking “Uh, oh, now I have to explain all I’ve been up to for years.”
It will not surprise you to learn that a state really cannot fully examine the legality of a foundation without examining the personal income, and what might’ve been reported personally – or not – within it. Thus, the personal tax records become an essential part of the case according to none other than the New York Times:
A state or county criminal investigation that begins with abuse of the Donald J. Trump Foundation need not be limited to violations of charity and election law. It can also examine his personal and business tax filings and, in the process, lawfully put his tax returns in the public record.
Mr. Trump reportedly used hundreds of thousands of foundation dollars to settle legal cases and buy portraits of himself that hang at Trump properties, among other egregious examples of self-dealing. Those foundation expenditures were income, and unless Mr. Trump reported that income, he could be prosecuted for criminal tax fraud.
It has been obvious since we heard Trump’s reluctance, and then outright refusal, to release his tax returns that they contained something within that went well beyond embarrassing. Hillary once speculated the reason could be that the records might show that Trump hasn’t paid federal income taxes since his losses incurred during the Atlantic City fiasco. But, as Trump responded that night: “That makes me smart,” it never felt to me like something Trump would want to hide. He would want to brag.
But, if the tax returns couldn’t be squared with the income into and out of the foundation, if he had so may liabilities it would zero out on any given year, or just show that he was cheap, illegally cheap, now that does seem like something that make him risk not releasing them.
We shall see. Finally! We will finally finally see, why it was! I am betting it is criminal.
Twitter: I am honored, and there are 4 spots still to be in the first 100 to win the prize: @MiciakZoom