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Trump’s Flaky Finances

October 27, 2018

Recently, the New York Times published an article resulting from the culmination of an in-depth investigation into the Trump family finances beginning with his father’s business dealings up until recent years. As has been his practice relating to his personal story in most aspects of his life, Donald Trump’s economic rise after a mere $1 million loan from his father to his current billionaire status appears to have undergone considerable embellishment over the years. Much of his current wealth appears to have been gifted  to him over a period of time to avoid the payment of much of it to the government in the form of tax obligations.

Donald Trump’s self-promotion throughout his career as a real estate tycoon, entrepreneur of a sizable business empire, television personality and now politician has often seemed just a bit sketchy. Company bankruptcies, reports of lawsuits due to failure to  pay contractors for jobs or fraudulence practiced by Trump University, along with tax irregularities punctuated by numerous audits ( including the one that he used as an excuse to refuse disclosing his tax returns prior to his 2016 election) all seemed to put chinks in the shiny armor of brilliant business acumen and personal awesomeness he sought to portray in every aspect of his life. While never claiming to be perfect (to the best of my knowledge), he never did quite seem to be able to admit a fault or mistake in his business or personal affairs.

Never at a loss for words when it comes to denigrating media in general or the “failing New York Times” (his words) in particular, his apparent lack of a caustic response to this particular article refuting his own rendition of how he earned his fortune with minimal assistance from his father is somewhat perplexing. Perhaps he’s laying low on this particular issue in hopes that it won’t snowball into a major avenue of investigation by the Special Counsel’s office or raise eyebrows in Congress’s shoddy investigations into Trump’s activities during the campaign and his first years in office. That would probably be a wise course of action on his part, though listening to advice from his legal team has not appeared to one of his strengths since hitting the campaign trail and subsequently taking office.

Trump has been playing fast and loose with many aspects of his role as President as has been practiced by his predecessors. Being unwilling to set aside business interests to allay fears that he will succumb to temptation to use his office for the purpose of profiting economically breaks with a long tradition of office holders liquidating assets and placing them in a blind trust to make that form of corruption difficult if not impossible. Flaunting the nepotism laws to make his daughter and son-in-law key senior advisors and releasing his tax returns are also ways in which Trump has refused to take steps to avoid forms of political corruption which candidates for the highest office in the land have willingly submitted themselves to.

Up until the 1930’s, no President had sought to stay in office for more than two terms, despite the fact that term limits were not addressed in the Constitution. FDR did – going so far as to get elected to a fourth term before dying in office. Shortly thereafter, an amendment to the US Constitution was passed that set limits to how long a President could remain in office. JFK appointed his brother Attorney General. Shortly thereafter, legislation forbidding that form of nepotism in the future was also passed. Donald Trump has not been legally obligated to release his tax returns. He has not done so, despite the fact that candidates for President have voluntarily done so for decades in order to reassure voters that they are above reproach in that regard. Count on Trump’s returns being submitted to at least some members of a Congressional investigation should Democrats regain control of either House in the upcoming midterm elections – either voluntarily upon request or to comply with a subpoena. At any rate, expect legislation to be forthcoming making such disclosure mandatory sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Whether or not President Trump is legally vulnerable due to improprieties in his business dealings prior to or while serving as President of the United States has not yet been determined. Whether his ongoing efforts to maintain secrecy in these matters rises to the level of obstruction is also unclear – at least to me. One thing is clear, however. This President has proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt (which is firmer ground than reasonable doubt), that he is ready, willing and able to lie about just about anything he desires, whenever he wants to. I would not trust him to be truthful about just about anything unless he had documentation to verify his claims. That is especially true in dealing with his business and other financial matters.

Donald Trump has had free reign to do much in his nearly two years in office, due in large part to the fact that his party controls the legislative branch and is enabling him to get away with just about anything the judiciary won’t stop him from doing. The Judiciary is quickly being turned into a rubber stamp for Trump as well. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to SCOTUS is just the most high-profile example of this, but it is replicated in the lower courts as well. Congressional Republicans have only prevented him from more fully enacting his agenda through their inability to unite behind him 100% on some issues and their inability to pass difficult legislation that he would need to meet his goals. Health care and his infamous border wall are probably the two biggest examples of this.

November 6th will go a long way towards determining exactly how much more damage this President can cause before he must personally face the voters again in 2020. Various states are doing their utmost to hold down the votes of people they strongly suspect will vote against the GOP/Trump agenda. We need to make sure nobody who should be able to vote is prevented from doing so. President Trump must be denied the ability to place himself above the law and rule without the consent of the governed. He also needs to be prevented from hiding facts about his personal and financial conduct that may prove his fitness (or lack thereof) to continue to serve in that capacity.

Suggested Further Reading:

Daddy’s Boy: New York Times Investigation Exposes the Breadth of Trump’s Lies and Corruption

The Dubious Fiction of Donald Trump’s Fortune Has Been Exposed

Don’t Think The Trumps Were The Only Landlords To Screw Their Renters

Fraud of Trump’s self-made persona exposed in father’s financials

Following report, Trump crafts underwhelming response to fraud allegations

3 Takeaways From the New York Times’ Bombshell Trump Investigation

Democrats Now Have A Roadmap For Investigating The Trump Crime Family

Trump Family’s Massive Tax Con Job Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight for Years. And It Could Cost Them Millions

How Democrats hope to obtain Trump’s tax returns

Here are all the Trump projects where Ivanka and her dad misled real estate buyers

This is your daily reminder that all roads lead back to Donald Trump’s tax returns

The First Family of Fraud

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4 Comments
  1. I don’t know if you are unaware of it, but it’s been reliably reported, by Thom Hartmann and others, that the primary and ongoing source of income for Trump has been his money laundering setup for all those Middle Eastern and perhaps a few Balkan despotic families. His real estate “empire” is not really running on those phony licensing of the Trump brand and his non-existent managing services. No, hundreds of millions to perhaps billions are funneled through his properties, money those families are hiding from their citizens, and Donnie takes his cut from the freshly-cleaned funds that spew out the other end. Mind you, all this is going on during his little stint in the White House because not one Republican desires to stop it. And if a legal case was brought against him, he’s now stacked SCOTUS, which has a stack of “Get Out Of Litigation Free” cards ready to hand him as needed.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I thought Trump and the NRA were busy laundering Russian money, but I wouldn’t doubt this scenario. Wherever it comes from, it’s keeping him in the black. Wonder if he uses Tide Pods. – rjc

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From Reuters this morning Rick. “If Democrats win a majority in the House in the Nov. 6 congressional elections, Nadler would likely become chairman of the Judiciary Committee. In that post, he could launch investigations of Trump. The committee is also probably where any Trump impeachment effort could begin.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Plenty of Congressional investigations will likely start. Just like the GOP did to the Obama Administration. Impeachment would likely be a waste of time – as was the case with Clinton. Bringing Trump’s financial shenanigans to light may make a difference in the 2020 Presidential race, however.

    Like

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