Trump appears to acknowledge tax schemes while questioning whether alleged violations are crimes


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  4 weeks ago  •  15 comments

Trump appears to acknowledge tax schemes while questioning whether alleged violations are crimes

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Trump appears to acknowledge tax schemes while questioning whether alleged violations are crimes

Tyler Pager4-5 minutes 7/3/2021

Former president Donald Trump lashed out at Manhattan prosecutors Saturday night for indicting his organization and its chief financial officer for tax fraud, calling it “prosecutorial misconduct” in his most extensive comments on the charges since they were unsealed Thursday.

As Trump criticized the investigation, he appeared to acknowledge the tax schemes while questioning whether the alleged violations were in fact crimes.

“They go after good, hard-working people for not paying taxes on a company car,” he said at a rally in Sarasota, Fla. “You didn't pay tax on the car or a company apartment. You used an apartment because you need an apartment because you have to travel too far where your house is. You didn't pay tax. Or education for your grandchildren. I don't even know. Do you have to? Does anybody know the answer to that stuff?”

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged the Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg with orchestrating a 15-year scheme to avoid taxes by providing benefits hidden from the federal government. Weisselberg, they said, evaded taxes on $1.7 million in fringe benefits, which included the Trump Organization paying his rent, leasing him cars and other gifts. The Trump Organization and Weisselberg both pleaded not guilty this week, and Trump was not charged in the case.

But Trump excoriated the prosecutors for what he argued was a politically motivated investigation and one that came at the expense of focusing on violent crimes.

“For murder and for selling massive amounts of the worst drugs in the world that kill people left and right, that's okay,” he said. “Think of it, think of how unfair it is. Never before has New York City and their prosecutors or perhaps any prosecutors criminally charged a company or a person for fringe benefits. Fringe benefits. Murders, okay. Human trafficking, no problem — but fringe benefits, you can’t do that.”

Tax experts have said prosecutions centered on fringe benefits are rare, but some have compared the charges to the case against Leona Helmsley, a New York real estate developer who was convicted of evading $1.2 million in taxes in the 1980s.

Yet Trump maintained that he was the victim of “the radical left” who failed to “get him” in Washington with the Mueller investigation and said prosecutors only want to target him and other Republicans.

“Every abuse and attack they throw my way, it's only because I have been fighting for you against the corrupt establishment,” he said. “That's all it is.”

But prosecutors for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office argued Thursday that the business practices were not “standard practice,” attempting to counter Trump’s argument that the investigation is politically motivated.

“There is no clearer example of a company that should be held to criminal account,” said Carey Dunne, a prosecutor working for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (D).

Trump’s rally was part of his effort to ramp up his political activity ahead of the midterm elections, as he looks to settle scores with political opponents and position himself for a possible 2024 presidential run, which he once again teased Saturday night. Trump also held the rally despite concerns from Florida politicians about the event being a distraction from search-and-rescue efforts after the collapse of a residential building in Surfside, Fla.

Trump held a moment of silence for the victims of the accident, which killed more than 20 people and left more than 100 people missing, before launching into a lengthy list of grievances. He assailed the Biden administration for its immigration policy, made false claims about the 2020 election and called for more information about the death of Ashli Babbitt, who was killed while storming the Capitol on Jan. 6. Trump also questioned why people were being jailed in connection with the insurrection but not for participating in racial justice protests.


jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

Trump admits that he did what the prosecutors say he did, Trump just doesnt think he should be prosecuted for breaking those laws. 

Two things jump to mind. One is if this is Trump's mindset, how many other crimes as he committed in his business dealings that he thought were not worth the prosecutors bothering with?  I think it is highly likely the Trump company committed bribery with numerous foreign countries in order to get his foot in the door in those places. 

My second thought is that white collar crime is not sufficiently addressed in America. Trump seems to think it is ok for him to give an employee perks that averaged over  100,000 dollars a year "off the books" and that no one should have to pay taxes on that income. 

If you are wealthy enough you can expect to break the law with impunity, and it you are poor enough you can be expected to be punished for spitting on the sidewalk. 

Those are not the hallmarks of a great country on this 4th of July. 

Professor Principal
1.1  Ender  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 weeks ago

Hell he kept a ledger...

Professor Principal
2  seeder  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

Undoubtedly Trump also believes that when his parents illegally passed him millions of dollars through a tax avoidance scheme related to their residential real estate business that was not a big deal either. 

America accepts this sort of corruption, no one can deny that. 

Greg Jones
Masters Expert
3  Greg Jones    4 weeks ago

The Trump Organization and Weisselberg both pleaded not guilty this week, and Trump was not charged in the case.

Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @3    4 weeks ago

 and Trump was not charged in the case.

Well, last night at his rally he admitted that he did the deed. He just thinks he should be allowed to. 

Greg Jones
Masters Expert
3.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    4 weeks ago

I never watch his rallies. What did he admit to?

Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
3.1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    4 weeks ago

So did Leonna "Only the little people pay taxes" Hemsly (sp) until she ended up in prison.

Professor Principal
4  JBB    4 weeks ago

Yes Virginia, engaging in a multi-year conspiracy to evade millions of dollars in personal and corporate taxes has always been a serious criminal offense...

Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  JBB @4    4 weeks ago

The brainwashing has begun. 

Professor Principal
5  sandy-2021492    4 weeks ago

His lawyers must be suffering concussions from face-palming hard and often.

Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @5    4 weeks ago

Trump clearly believes that paying taxes is voluntary. 

Professor Principal
5.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1    4 weeks ago

I doubt that; I suspect this is Trump doing his usual lying to put forth a false reality of his choosing.   

Professor Principal
5.1.2  Kavika   replied to  TᵢG @5.1.1    4 weeks ago

Except in China where tax evasion might have a much more dramatic result than here.

Professor Principal
5.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  Kavika @5.1.2    4 weeks ago

His approach of spinning his own reality is not going to work any better than when he tried it to try to stay in office.

PhD Principal
5.2  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @5    4 weeks ago

this is the one time I regret that autocratic asshole isn't on twitter, so that he could incriminate himself even further.


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