The Jury Talks Back


Avenatti Indicted for Tax Evasion — But I Thought the IRS Caught Everybody Right Away?!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:21 am

Michael Avenatti has been indicted for numerous crimes, including several years’ worth of tax evasion. That’s so weird, because I thought the IRS catches all tax fraud and evasion immediately.

To celebrate the unveiling of this document, let’s consider that Avenatti was considering running for President in 2020, and consider what would have happened if he had run in 2016 instead. Had he refused to release his tax returns, what kind of arguments might his superfans have made? Below, I imagine the debate.

ME: Michael Avenatti seems very shady. I think he is hiding something because he won’t release his tax returns — that is, if they even exist.

AVENATTI SUPERFAN: Candidates didn’t start revealing their returns until Nixon. It’s hardly a precedent. And he says he’s under audit. You can’t expect people to release tax returns under audit.

ME: The press is reporting that their sources are saying he hasn’t even filed a tax return for the last six years.

AVENATTI SUPERFAN: Fake news! You really think the IRS is going to sit still for someone not filing a return? Look, Avenatti is a high profile lawyer. He doesn’t use TurboTax. He obviously employs professional accountants. You think his accountants are going to lie? You think they’re going to tell him not even to file a return?

ME: I don’t know. The guy lies all the time. His law firm has been placed into receivership, for crying out loud. I mean, he was evicted for not paying his rent. And now he won’t reveal his returns and claims it’s because he’s being audited? Something doesn’t smell right. He hasn’t even provided a single letter from the IRS showing they had begun an audit. We are taking his word for it, together with some vaguely worded statements from his tax lawyers about some audits somewhere, that don’t attach the IRS letters. I don’t find that convincing. And, for the umpteenth time, he’s a liar.

AVENATTI SUPERFAN: If his returns are good enough for the IRS, they should be good enough for the American people. We don’t need to see them. You’re just playing politics.

I know the reflexive response that Trump superfans will give to this: “Obama’s IRS” gave Avenatti a pass due to politics and gave Trump a pass because he’s squeaky clean. Congratulations; that argument just gave the Avenatti superfan an argument that the Avenatti indictment is pure politics from the Trump administration.

Never mind the overwhelming nature of the allegations in the indictment. It’s all about who’s president when it’s handed down, right? If there’s anything we have learned from the Trump era, it’s that the rule of law doesn’t matter any more. Only politics does.

1 Comment »

  1. He doesn’t have to worry about his tax bill. The Mexicans will pay for it.

    Comment by Luke Stywalker — 4/13/2019 @ 4:40 am

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