Patterico's Pontifications

10/16/2019

Evidence of Trump Organization Tax Fraud Emerges — What About that IRS Whistleblower Again?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:53 am



Pro Publica:

Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.

For instance, Trump told the lender that he took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during the same year, 2017. He also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.

. . . .

A dozen real estate professionals told ProPublica they saw no clear explanation for multiple inconsistencies in the documents. The discrepancies are “versions of fraud,” said Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. “This kind of stuff is not OK.”

. . . .

There can be legitimate reasons for numbers to diverge between tax and loan documents, the experts noted, but some of the gaps seemed to have no reasonable justification. “It really feels like there’s two sets of books — it feels like a set of books for the tax guy and a set for the lender,” said Kevin Riordan, a financing expert and real estate professor at Montclair State University who reviewed the records. “It’s hard to argue numbers. That’s black and white.”

This is, of course, what Trump provably did in the 1990s, as the New York Times revealed in detail about a year ago. He got away with it for years, as rich people often do.

I’m suspicious of the language in the Pro Publica piece in the second paragraph of the quoted passage above: “Trump told the lender.” I see no other evidence in the article that Trump had direct involvement in the apparent shenanigans. He is President, after all, and in that capacity has his hands pretty full, what with the constant tweeting and promulgating policies that lead to the release of terrorists. One wonders where he would find the time to mislead tax authorities. He probably outsources that to his family now.

One thing Trump might exercise personal control over, however, is interfering with any audits of his tax returns. Recall the letter Richard Neal sent Mnuchin about allegations of efforts to influence the mandatory IRS audit of Trump’s tax returns. In the letter, Neal described “credible allegations” from a whistleblower of “evidence of possible misconduct” regarding “inappropriate efforts to influence” the mandatory IRS audit of the President and Vice President.

Neal to Mnuchin

This was part of the predicate for the House Ways and Means Committee to demand Trump’s tax returns — which Congress may do under a 1924 law that I discussed here in April.

The Pro Publica piece lends weight to the notion that the Trump Organization has something to fear from sunlight, and as prosecutors get closer to getting their mitts on Trump’s financials in New York, more may be coming to light. Indeed, if I were a betting man, I’d bet on it.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

99 Responses to “Evidence of Trump Organization Tax Fraud Emerges — What About that IRS Whistleblower Again?”

  1. We decide presidents now through law craft and prosecutorial discretion. Elections are for chumps.

    Munroe (53beca)

  2. This time, we’ll get the orange whale, honfor sure.

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. Just like that dia employee who selectively leaks to the ‘hardest working reporters, ahem.

    narciso (d1f714)

  4. Munroe, do you think laws are for everyone but politicians? That’s what you are saying when you suggest elections “trump” laws. If so, everyone will want to be a politician.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. I suspect that Trump’s signatures are on at least some of the documents. He “turned over the management” of Trump Organization to his sons, but the TO website gives both of them the title of Executive Vice President, and doesn’t identify who is the President of the organization….which implies to me that Donald Sr. still has that title.

    kishnevi (496414)

  6. Or we back to that pretense again, remember bob corker he had a 3 million dollar tax discrepancy has anyone followed through on that.

    narciso (d1f714)

  7. A continuation of the Death by One Thousand Cuts strategy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  8. Just wait ‘til it gets to the Kurds and Whey Committee!!!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  9. It is a shame. Trump should stop cutting himself.

    DRJ (15874d)

  10. No, let’s just cut to the chase.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  11. Now did have anything to do with his fasciltating the iran deal?

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. Whenever you see “Congress may do this or that” substitute “The Partisan Democrats in congress”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  13. Do these people have the right to see Trump’s tax documents? Were these illegally leaked? Or does breaking the law only matter when its TRump?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  14. DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 8:10 am

    Elections don’t trump laws. But, not talking about the law here. You knew that.

    Elections should trump politically driven and amorphous prosecutorial discretion targeting a single candidate.

    Munroe (53beca)

  15. The piece asserts more than the evidence shows,

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. One wonders where he would find the time to mislead tax authorities.

    Perhaps in the same place he finds lots of time to golf and watch TV and rage-tweet. His official daily schedule usually looks very light. What does he put at the top of his priority list?

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  17. Why should anyone pay taxes if they can avoid it? And would Mr. President Trump who is Donald be so stupid as to commit such an obvious tax and bank fraud? He is a self-made billionaire, and a very stable genius of great and unmatched wisdom, with the very good genes of draft-dodgers, war profiteers, and brothel-keepers, and he is going to make America great.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Maybe someone should break in your house, and selectively leak parts to the papers, , the was the outrage over hillary right.

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. Now propublica does good work on occasion, that investigation on the decade long fusteercluck re navy readiness, but it jusr as off, toads the wet sprocket, like in the whole haspel matter.

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. I don’t know that we are “not talking about the law here.” That is exactly what this is about.

    Government makes laws to protect itself and its citizens from corruption and fraud. Stateless societies leave it to the individuals to protect themselves and seek revenge when they can’t. Trump’s “get even” approach to life and America is how stateless societies work. It is harsh and inefficient, and in the long run everyone is hurt because we have to spend most of our resources on security and revenge, not making more wealth.

    Corruption and fraud undermine societies, but IMO you view any investigation as political payback against “your side.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  21. Because we dont see any payback for malicious prosecution.

    narciso (d1f714)

  22. Take what weissman did to arthur anderseen

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. ‘I don’t know that we are “not talking about the law here.” That is exactly what this is about.’
    DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 8:58 am

    This is the rule of prosecutors, emblematic of one-party states — not the rule of law.

    It’s actually quite Putinesque.

    Munroe (53beca)

  24. Now its not as corrupt as ukraine yet.

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. Munroe, do you think laws are for everyone but politicians? That’s what you are saying when you suggest elections “trump” laws. If so, everyone will want to be a politician.

    DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 8:10 am

    based on his comments Munroe believes 3 things

    Trump Good. libs Bad. Facts, principles and laws irrelevant.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  26. Would a policy of “let’s kill all the lawyers” suit you fellows fine? Or just prosecutors?

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. Corruption and fraud undermine societies, but IMO you view any investigation as political payback against “your side.”

    DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 8:58 am

    Yes. 100x times yes.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  28. Or we back to that pretense again, remember bob corker he had a 3 million dollar tax discrepancy has anyone followed through on that.

    narciso (d1f714) — 10/16/2019 @ 8:12 am

    Trumps DOJ should do something about that.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  29. Lutsenko someone pointed out, did seeve time, now usa today disnt point out the fellow responsible went away for corruption, himself, after he was amnestied porochenko rehabilitated him.

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. Investigations are the price society pays to encourage us to have faith in the law, so we can see it is vigilant and transparent. You view investigations as undermining the law, but only when directed at your side. How many Trump supporters want the Clintons, Obamas and Bidens to be investigated endlessly?

    DRJ (15874d)

  31. @26, do a serious of anti-lawyer jokes violate the blog rules? I don’t really have a problem with lawyer’s as a group, but some of those jokes can be funny.

    Time123 (36651d)

  32. ”Trump Good. libs Bad. Facts, principles and laws irrelevant.”
    Time123 (53ef45) — 10/16/2019 @ 9:10 am

    You forgot:

    Hates puppies. Throws kittens in the dryer. Pushes grandma down the stairs.

    Munroe (53beca)

  33. There have been many lawyer jokes posted here in the past but I don’t know how the present hosts feel.

    DRJ (15874d)

  34. @29, I think your anti-convulsion meds are wearing off again. Which is a shame because your comments on the other thread were good.

    Time123 (36651d)

  35. Im pointing out abuses of power, that havent been remedied.

    narciso (d1f714)

  36. Because we dont see any payback for malicious prosecution.

    narciso (d1f714) — 10/16/2019 @ 9:05 am

    Nifong?

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. @32 My take is based on observation and none of those can be derived from your comments.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  38. And there is an argument that Trump won because of Democratic abuses. That is a big payback.

    DRJ (15874d)

  39. I’m pointing out that comment 29 was hard to make sense of.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  40. You want to link the entire wiki site.

    narciso (d1f714)

  41. Earle murray fitzgerald et al.

    narciso (d1f714)

  42. Chisholm (whoever handled mcdonnell)

    narciso (d1f714)

  43. Trump should have focused his DOJ on investigating abuses, not waste 3 years. He said he didn’t want to investigate Hillary until he became the target, and suddenly he went into “get even” mode. That discredits the investigation as revenge instead of justice and transparency.

    Trump is the biggest abuser when it comes to malicious prosecutions, because he doesn’t use them to fix things but to get even.

    DRJ (15874d)

  44. The answer to every example of malicious prosecutions that narciso gives is “Trump.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  45. As a guy who has been involved in no small number of real estate valuations for estates, the appraisals of his dad’s buildings were nothing short of fraudulent, so it’s no surprise that Trump would report one thing to lenders and something else to tax assessors.

    Paul Montagu (cbbfc4)

  46. Trumps DOJ should do something about that.

    Are you suggesting Trump use his position to influence the direction of specific DOJ investigations for his own political gain?

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97)

  47. No you got it backwards, thats why the tripwire was set with sally yates, of course there was the hunt for that dangerous criminal carter page

    narciso (d1f714)

  48. Are you suggesting Trump use his position to influence the direction of specific DOJ investigations for his own political gain?

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97) — 10/16/2019 @ 9:27 am

    I think Time123 was suggesting that if there is evidence of wrongdoing, Trump should order the DOJ to investigate it — even if it involves his own Party.

    The key is evidence of wrongdoing, which we have with Trump’s lender/tax matters here..

    DRJ (15874d)

  49. There are only three lawyer jokes, Time 123. All the other stories are true.

    nk (dbc370)

  50. By todays standards, Harry Reid was a whistleblower when he said he’d heard Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years.
    Why would an IRS whistleblower be privy to NYC tax authorities issues?
    Is the allegation about Trumps federal return?

    I hate to say this, but I’m no longer impressed by the number of experts (a dozen). Universities are full of partisan Democrats these days, so finding a dozen or a hundred isn’t difficult.

    Like many others here, I’ve done some similar things tax wise. Getting a loan based on appraisal and income numbers and after values fell, getting a new appraisal and applying for a property tax reduction based on the new valuation. I did not do this personally because the ins and outs of it make it worth paying for the accountant and real estate attorney, which gave me confidence I was signing something that wouldn’t come back to bite me.
    Homeowners can probably manage it themselves, and my city and county send out a form that can be used to apply for the reduction if you get an independent appraisal. The county and city retain the right to conduct their own appraisal but they already know that generally speaking, values have dropped within a certain range and as long as you are within that range, they don’t bother to do their own appraisal on your individual property.

    I’m not saying Trump is clean here, I am saying it is routine for people with real estate holdings to pursue tax reduction in this way and the loan comes first and then later the application for reduction. There shouldn’t be a huge disparity in the loan vs devaluation numbers unless there were factors we haven’t been told about

    This is one where I’ll have to wait and see.
    Right now, this looks like the appearance of impropriety, which may turn out to be all they get out of it.

    steveg (354706)

  51. “Are you suggesting Trump use his position to influence the direction of specific DOJ investigations for his own political gain?”

    It would appear so. Sounds corrupt to me, like no respect for the law.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  52. and we know podesta and weber are utterly above the law, and greg craig, well judge Jackson jumped through hoops to enable his acquittal,

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. lutsenko is a reformer going back to Kuchma, 20 years ago, he wouldn’t go along with the fraudulent case against Timoshenko, he was a leader of the maidan, but now he’s garbage, because everyone has to cover for hunter biden, and his boss,

    narciso (d1f714)

  54. The article is full of assertions with caveats

    steveg (354706)

  55. 48… is Time 123 unable to respond?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  56. #20

    Corruption and fraud undermine societies, but IMO you view any investigation as political payback against “your side.”

    DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 8:58 am

    #30 Investigations are the price society pays to encourage us to have faith in the law, so we can see it is vigilant and transparent. You view investigations as undermining the law, but only when directed at your side. How many Trump supporters want the Clintons, Obamas and Bidens to be investigated endlessly?

    DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 9:15 am

    #43 Trump should have focused his DOJ on investigating abuses, not waste 3 years. He said he didn’t want to investigate Hillary until he became the target, and suddenly he went into “get even” mode. That discredits the investigation as revenge instead of justice and transparency.

    Trump is the biggest abuser when it comes to malicious prosecutions, because he doesn’t use them to fix things but to get even.

    DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 9:24 am

    I think the answer is muddled up in all of this.

    This is strictly the ugly underbelly of politics.

    Neither Obama nor Clintons really paid a price except for various political prices. Why? Because their supporters has/will frame it as a partisan witch hunt.

    Now with Trump? Most of his critic’s ire comes from bad faith.

    So, even if something that has legs, ie, Trump’s tax behaviors that ought to warrant further investigations, because if his previous critic’s bad faith arguments, Trump and his supporters will spin this. Even if, frustratingly so, folks like you/Pat/Dana *do* posit your criticism in good faith.

    That’s the ugly realities of politics these days… moreso since the advent of social media and cable news.

    For the record… I do think his previous tax shenanigans look bad and we need clarity on this.

    Likewise… I do think Trump asking Ukraine to investigation Biden’s son… not because that it’s illegal or anything, but that he should’ve let the DOJ take the lead on that and stayed out of it. It’s a tactical error politically for him, as it undermines his own position that the 3 year investigation by Obama DOJ/Mueller was a partisan witch hunt.

    I definitely don’t think these are impeachment worthy. I’d rather shine some sunlight and let the voters (ie, the real sovereign here) decide whether or not Trump ought to be re-elected.

    whembly (51f28e)

  57. now in south florida, we had our share of slithy toves in shiny outfits, Miriam Alonso, Humberto Hernandez, (real estate fraud) david rivera (misrepresentation of income and tax fraud) joe gersten, don’t get me started, Charlie cheetah and his man, looted the party fund, raul Martinez, our own mayor curley,

    narciso (d1f714)

  58. the Friday fracas, came from the campaign legal center, lois lerner’s boss, and mccains counsel, filed a complaint a year ago, apparently with a leak from the fec, how else did they know,

    this whole gossip chain, began with mark Zaid’s ambulance chasing grift, that took out a responsible ig, so they could put in Atkinson, then the reporting form was changed, so biden’s Sherpa on the hammerlock against poroshenko, could surface unverified gossip as legitimate intelligence,

    narciso (d1f714)

  59. White House directed ‘three amigos’ to run Ukraine policy, senior State department official tells House investigators

    Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney organized a meeting this spring in which officials were determined to take Ukraine policy out of the traditional channels, putting Energy Secretary Rick Perry, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and special U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker in charge instead, a top State Department official told lawmakers Tuesday. …

    The revelations from Kent’s testimony suggest the decision to wrest Ukraine policy away from career diplomats and put it in the hands of officials seen as more sympathetic to the president was taken several weeks before Trump spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. ….

    Giuliani has accused Yovanovitch and Kent, formerly the No. 2 ranking diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, of trying to protect the Bidens from an investigation by Ukrainian prosecutors. Yovanovitch, who was recalled from Kiev in May, adamantly pushed back on those accusations during testimony before House investigators Friday.
    Internal documents turned over to Congress by the State Department inspector general in early October showed that Kent suspected beginning in March that Yovanovitch had become the target of a “classic disinformation operation” — and that he raised concerns to his superiors in the hope they would defend their own. ….

    Rip Murdock (847895)

  60. I think the Trump Organization is more liely to have lied to the lenders, (or distorted things more) than to the government.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  61. Felicity Huffman will do more time than Donald Trump ever will– or Richard Nixon ever did.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. Trumps DOJ should do something about that.

    Are you suggesting Trump use his position to influence the direction of specific DOJ investigations for his own political gain?

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97) — 10/16/2019 @ 9:27 am

    No.

    DJR was correct in his summation. But to put it in my own words.

    If there is reasonable suspicion of a crime they should investigate. If they discover probably cause that a person committed a crime they should continue. If there is evidence to support indictment they should indict.

    So far the DOJ has not issued indictments.

    One of two things must be true.

    Either the evidence doesn’t support it. Or, the Trump DOJ is covering up the crimes of his political enemies.

    I’m assuming that the evidence doesn’t support charges. But I’m willing to revise if new evidence is brought forth. I hear an IG report is due out this week for instance.

    The “So & So” is never held accountable crowd appears to feel it’s a cover up. I think this is a dumb conclusion based on what’s known so far so I was being snarky that you should take it up with Trump.

    Does that clarify things for you?

    Time123 (53ef45)

  63. “Do these people have the right to see Trump’s tax documents? Were these illegally leaked? Or does breaking the law only matter when its TRump?”

    If you had read the linked article, you would have seen the following:

    ProPublica obtained the property tax documents using New York’s Freedom of Information Law. The documents were public because Trump appealed his property tax bill for the buildings every year for nine years in a row, the extent of the available records. We compared the tax records with loan records that became public when Trump’s lender, Ladder Capital, sold the debt on his properties as part of mortgage-backed securities.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  64. CNN Breaking:
    Federal investigation of Rudy Giuliani includes counterintelligence probe
    ….. The counterintelligence part of the investigation indicates that FBI and criminal prosecutors in Manhattan are looking at a broader set of issues related to Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, than has been previously reported. ….

    The counterintelligence probe hinges in part on whether a foreign influence operation was trying to take advantage of Giuliani’s business ties in Ukraine and with wealthy foreigners to make inroads with the White House, according to one person briefed on the matter. …..

    Rip Murdock (847895)

  65. Whaddabout Geithner

    Is it necessarily required to report these numbers the same way? And why don’t the lenders demand to see the tax returns? They sure do when I ask for a big loan. I’m guessing they know they won’t match.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  66. Trump’s lender, Ladder Capital, sold the debt on his properties as part of mortgage-backed securities.

    And therein is the lender’s reason for not looking too deeply. If they had, they would have to tell the brokers the sordid details that they did not want to know.

    Don’t think this is limited to Trump or Ladder Capital. This is how the entire 2008 meltdown occurred, and it goes back a lot further. I got a mortgage I probably should not have gotten in 1990, but the lender (Citibank) was uninterested in certain details. Then they sold off the mortgage in a package.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  67. I think that every member of Congress should have to post their tax returns and all mortgage applications on the Internet. Let’s see how many votes such a law gets.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  68. An earlir New York times story (printed i thepaper twice) about what (mostly) Fred Trump did:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html

    “The theme I see here through all of this is valuations: They play around with valuations in extreme ways,” said Lee-Ford Tritt, a University of Florida law professor and a leading expert in gift and estate tax law. “There are dramatic fluctuations depending on their purpose.”

    The manipulation of values to evade taxes was central to one of the most important financial events in Donald Trump’s life. In an episode never before revealed, Mr. Trump and his siblings gained ownership of most of their father’s empire on Nov. 22, 1997, a year and a half before Fred Trump’s death. Critical to the complex transaction was the value put on the real estate. The lower its value, the lower the gift taxes. The Trumps dodged hundreds of millions in gift taxes by submitting tax returns that grossly undervalued the properties, claiming they were worth just $41.4 million.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  69. The dixcrepancy might have been caused, in part, by counting and not counting free rent deals:

    Frm the ProPublica story:

    …Trump’s team told Ladder that occupancy was rebounding after registering a lackluster 58.9% on Dec. 31, 2012. Since then, Trump representatives reported, the building had signed new tenants. Income from them hadn’t fully been realized yet, largely because of free-rent deals, they said. But after 2015, they predicted, revenues would surge.

    “That’s a selling point for people in the business,” said Riordan, who was previously the executive director of the Rutgers Center for Real Estate. Borrowers “want to show tremendous leasing momentum.” The steepness of such a rise in occupancy at the Trump building was unusual, Riordan and other experts said.

    Documents submitted to city property tax officials show no such run-up. Trump representatives reported to the tax authorities that the building was already 81% leased in 2012.

    “What is bizarre is that you have these tax filings that are totally different,” Riordan said. A gap of at least 10 percentage points between the two occupancy reports persisted for the next two years, before the figures in the tax and loan reports synced in January 2016.

    The portrayal of a rapid rise in occupancy, and the explanation that income would soon follow, were critical for the refinancing. Indeed, Ladder’s underwriters were predicting that 40 Wall Street’s profits would more than double after 2015. Having reviewed Trump’s financial statements and rent roll, they estimated the building would clear $22.6 million a year in net operating income.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  70. @68, yes, and how about an SEC review of all trades by them and anyone associated with their office looking for evidence of insider trading.

    Time123 (14b920)

  71. The providence journal looks interesting, but requires me to complete a survey before i get to read the article.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  72. DJR was correct in his summation.

    DRJ is a “her”, FYI.

    Dave (98c500)

  73. DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 8:10 am

    Yes, it may be everyone who thinks this to be the case. I believe you have hit upon a truth, DRJ.

    felipe (023cc9)

  74. OT-Breaking; Dem leaders abruptly leave WH mtg., w/POTUS; say Pelosi was insulted by Trump.

    ‘Harry’ siuation: if you can’t stand the heat- stand up and leave the kitchen, eh Nancy?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  75. DRJ, sorry I got that wrong.

    Time123 (f386bb)

  76. Lucille bluth, can’t be done,

    I see selective prosecution all over the place, Weissman, was reprimanded 9-0 by the us supreme court, and yet it didn’t matter the next time around, it’s nearly impossible to get the justices to agree on what to have for lunch, judge Sullivan to his credit, did reprimand the bureau agents involved in the travesty of a sham involved ted stevens, but they were reversed, the one who called the out ali Watkins relationship with the chief witness, chad joy he was forced to leave,

    narciso (d1f714)

  77. “This is, of course, what Trump provably did in the 1990s, as the New York Times revealed in detail about a year ago.”

    No, the only thing that article proved is that the NYT reporters are incapable of analyzing a tax return and were too arrogant or stupid to have someone who can do it for them. Substantially ALL of the accusations in the Oct 2018 NYT article are provably falsified by the very documents the NYT posted to “prove” them. I can provide you all the information one should need to verify that him or herself. As to why the NYT reporters got Pulitzers for it instead of banished from the entire news reporting profession, your guess is as good as mine.

    Propublica has yet to release copies of the source documents for their accusations. Until they do, I would very much advise everyone to be skeptical that those documents prove Propublica’s accusations.

    Thomas McLain (8d1c57)

  78. Two sets of book? Wow. You mean one for financial and one for tax? Katie bar the door! OR one for each separate business? OMG!

    The stupidity of this remark makes me trust ZERO of what’s written.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  79. Trump doesn’t personally do his taxes. He many know the top level issues and some of the details but he’s not a CPA or a tax lawyer and NO CEO of billion dollar business gets into the tax detail or the accounting detail. Period.

    Plus, Trump is so big and famous and rich that he’ audited every year by the irs. But oh, there’s some massive tax fraud that no one caught except these people. They skimmed through a few papers and Wow, Tax Fraud! Stupidity squared.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  80. Just more romper-room “Orange man Bad’ Crap from the MSM.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  81. After almost 3 years of unceasing Media and Democrat attacks, I’ve come to the conclusion that ANY MSM or Demcorat attack on TRump is false until proven true. Its truly astounding and a little scary to go back to May-June 2017 and read what the MSM and the D’s were saying about Trump-Russia Comey and McCabe, given what we now know. Almost everything the NYT/Wapo reported at that time has turned out to be wrong, distorted, or an outright lie. Now the Left/MSM/Never trumpers are just recycling attacks.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  82. “Plus, Trump is so big and famous and rich that he’ audited every year by the irs. But oh, there’s some massive tax fraud that no one caught except these people. They skimmed through a few papers and Wow, Tax Fraud! Stupidity squared.”

    Trump is almost certainly lying about this. Thanks to budget cuts over the last 8 years, the IRS has drastically reduced the number of audits of wealthy people.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  83. Trump letter to Erdogan a few days ago; confirmed real by the WH.

    Today he is claiming the PKK is worse than ISIS.

    Dave (98c500)

  84. 84 “Plus, Trump is so big and famous and rich that he’ audited every year by the irs. But oh, there’s some massive tax fraud that no one caught except these people. They skimmed through a few papers and Wow, Tax Fraud! Stupidity squared.”

    Trump is almost certainly lying about this. Thanks to budget cuts over the last 8 years, the IRS has drastically reduced the number of audits of wealthy people.

    Davethulhu (fab944) — 10/16/2019 @ 3:07 pm

    I don’t know about that…

    Resources are finite, so I can see spending more effort on investigating wealthy folks to ensure they get more “bang for the buck”.

    whembly (51f28e)

  85. #84 Trump letter to Erdogan a few days ago; confirmed real by the WH.

    Today he is claiming the PKK is worse than ISIS.

    Dave (98c500) — 10/16/2019 @ 3:19 pm

    Two things:
    1) Wow…dat letter.

    2) PKK is more organized and is larger now than ISIS. They’re literally on the US terrorist list responsible for thousands of deaths in that region.

    whembly (51f28e)

  86. they targeted the tea party, yes I know not a ‘snippet of corruption,’ tell that to Katherine engelbrecht

    narciso (d1f714)

  87. Time123,

    Don’t apologize. I don’t think gender matters online, just what we say.

    DRJ (15874d)

  88. Trump’s chance of getting audited is currently between 2%-6%, depending on his income. In 2011, it was about 4%. (It could have been up to a 30% chance in 2011 if he had income over $10M a year, but he didn’t.)

    The odds of him getting audited every year are even lower unless he had been caught filing a false return or underpaying his taxes. Then there is a good chance he would be audited every year.

    DRJ (15874d)

  89. Democrats walk out of Syria meeting with Trump, saying he was insulting and went on a ‘nasty diatribe’
    … Tensions between Trump and lawmakers from both parties escalated Wednesday, including during an afternoon meeting with congressional leaders to discuss the situation in Turkey.

    Democratic leaders left the meeting early after they said Trump insulted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) as a “third-rate politician” in their first face-to-face meeting since the Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry and hours after the House adopted a resolution in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote that rebuked Trump’s move to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria — a decision announced Oct. 6 that has found few defenders on Capitol Hill…..

    Inside the Cabinet Room, Schumer began making his case against Trump’s decision to withdraw nearly all troops from northern Syria, reading to the president comments from former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this week, according to three officials familiar with the comments who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private exchange. Mattis had argued that the United States needed to keep the pressure on, arguing that if it didn’t, “then ISIS would resurge.”

    Trump then interjected and called Mattis the “world’s most overrated general” and remarked that he wasn’t “tough enough” and that Trump himself “captured” the Islamic State, according to the three officials. He boasted that his timeline for capturing the Islamic State was much faster than what Mattis predicted, saying “I captured them in one month.”
    ….
    The White House disputed Democrats characterization of Trump’s demeanor.
    “The President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.

    Rip Murdock (847895)

  90. Trump’s letter to Erdogan is incredible.

    DRJ (15874d)

  91. Regarding YPG/PKK, Trump is lying yet again to defend his incredibly stupid and short-sighted decision. I mentioned this another thread, but there’s a good case to take PKK off our Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  92. #89 Trump’s chance of getting audited is currently between 2%-6%, depending on his income. In 2011, it was about 4%. (It could have been up to a 30% chance in 2011 if he had income over $10M a year, but he didn’t.)

    The odds of him getting audited every year are even lower unless he had been caught filing a false return or underpaying his taxes. Then there is a good chance he would be audited every year.

    DRJ (15874d) — 10/16/2019 @ 3:30 pm

    That article doesn’t account for the “Squeaky Wheel Syndrome”… that is, the higher profile you are in such tax brackets, the more likely you’ll be audited. Trump has been anything but a quiet billionaire over the years.

    But, yeah Trump’s been a billionaire a loooooooong time, and it’s likely that he pushed the envelope as much as he could. There’s a fine line between tax avoidance and tax fraud. The former is expected behavior… the latter is difficult to prove, and that it’d be the IRS who’d make that determination, not the media getting bits ‘n bob for publicly available records.

    I have family in the big three accounting firms and I asked them why are tax lawyers/tax accountants big business? My cousin was able to dumb it down for me:
    If you know anything about the card game Magic The Gathering…the game also requires you to be good at rule lawyering to succeed. In the accounting world, you have to make your case by convincing the authorities that your audit/financial documentation is kosher under current regulations.

    …and I just outed myself as a big geek.

    Ciao.

    whembly (51f28e)

  93. Off-topic, but a different type of fraud:

    Trump’s top China adviser appears to have made up expert he regularly quoted

    This is Peter Navarro, UC Irvine’s shame.

    This sort of thing is not OK in academia, so it will be interesting to see if the business school disciplines him.

    It appears Navarro has retired since hopping aboard the Trump clown car, and is now Professor Emeritus. The university has stripped people of emeritus status before.

    Dave (1bb933)

  94. Pro Publica was itself referred to IRS for reconsideration of its non-profit status when it started seeking to out every federal employee using Facebook even if they were only part of closed bereavement groups. We’ll never know how the Form 13909 referral turns out unless they get hit hard. Considering how decrepit and sickly some of the front-line IRS staff have been getting, 2019 had more funerals than usual at some of the duty posts.

    For POTUS to be able to reach down and identify who is doing what in an audit is actually pretty difficult. The institutional culture is that POTUS has to be hands off. There are enough layers of bureaucracy in place that this wouldn’t be a single person alone knowing a secret. 6 to 8 layers of management would have to be sorted through to identify the correct employee and only then interfere. That’s too many people to keep a secret in an agency where morale is akin to the USS Caine and every day has a new Queeg-like horror arising.

    Alpacaherder (eeff77)


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