Appears to Violate IRS Rules Against Self-Dealing
Donald Trump used over $250,000 of other people’s money, donated to the Trump Foundation, as a slush fund to settle legal disputes and even to buy portraits of himself.Â
The Washington Post reports in one case Trump used $100,000 of his Foundation’s funds to settle a legal dispute with Palm Beach County over the size of a flag pole at his club, Mar-a-Lago. The funds should have come from the club, but they came in the form of a check from the Trump Foundation.
The Trump Foundation was founded in 1987 with Trump’s money, but after draining it all but dry, Trump between 2006 and 2009 stopped donating to it entirely and has since relied on other people’s money to fund it.
“In another case, court papers say one of Trumpâ€™s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiffâ€™s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records,” the Post reports.
Other expenditures include $10,000 to buy a second portrait of TrumpÂ â€“ he has also spent $20,000 of the Foundation’s money for a first, six-foot-tall portrait of himself.
“If the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf,” the Post says.
Jeffrey Tenenbaum, a charity advisor at the Venable law firm in Washington,Â tells the Post,Â â€œI represent 700 nonprofits a year, and Iâ€™ve never encountered anything so brazen.â€
Calling the details in the Post story â€œreally shocking,â€Â Tenenbaum says:Â â€œIf heâ€™s using other peopleâ€™s money â€” run through his foundation â€” to satisfy his personal obligations, then thatâ€™s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] Iâ€™ve seen in a while.â€Â
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‘A Perfect Call!’: Trump Rails Against Georgia Election Probe in Late-Night Truth Social Rant
Former President Donald Trump is posting vintage rants attacking investigators on his Truth Social platform.
In a late-night tirade, the former president lashed out against the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office just hours after Rudy Giuliani testified before a special grand jury that’s probing the Trump campaign’s efforts to illegally remain in power despite losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.
“So, let me get this straight!” Trump’s rant began. “In the Great State of Georgia, if you want to challenge or protest Election results in any way, shape, or form (despite the fact that in Atlanta, murders and crime are the highest in the Nation, with many people dying each month – at numbers never seen before), they will charge you and put you in jail. But if you kill people, you will quickly be set free to murder again. Isn’t there something ‘slightly’ wrong with this scenario? A PERFECT PHONE CALL!”
In fact, the grand jury is not probing Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results, but is rather investigating incidents such as his phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he pushed for Raffensperger to “find” 12,000 votes and “recalculate” the final vote tally.
In a separate post, the former president attacked the Washington Post for reporting that he was having trouble finding top-notch legal representation, as he is currently relying in part on a lawyer who previously worked as general counsel for a parking garage company.
“The WAPO story that ‘Trump is scrambling to add seasoned lawyers’ to the Mar-a-Lago Raid case is, as usual, FAKE NEWS,” he wrote. “I already have excellent and experienced lawyers – am very happy with them. This is highly political prosecutorial misconduct, I have not been charged with anything and, most importantly, I did nothing wrong. Thank you!”
Watch: Republican Wrongly Tells Constituents ‘Of Course’ Inflation Is 40% in Ad Shopping, Complaining About Prices
A sitting U.S. Congresswoman who may have violated a federal conflict of interest law by incorrectly reporting receipt of $500,000 in stocks took a page out of Dr. Oz’s playbook Wednesday, cutting an ad showing her shopping – not for crudité, but for back-to-school supplies as she complains about prices while falsely claiming U.S. inflation is 40%.
Rep. María Elvira Salazar, Republican of Florida, who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, recorded the ad (below) in Spanish with English subtitles inside a Target and posted it to her personal Twitter account.
In it she falsely states the rate of inflation. Current U.S. inflation is 8.5% annually. For the month of July it was at zero percent, which caused the annual rate to drop from 9.1% in June to 8.5%.
Many other countries have much higher inflation. The UK’s annual rate just jumped to 10.1%, a quarter of what she claimed the U.S. inflation rate is. Inflation is highest in Venezuela at 1198%. Sudan is at 340%. Argentina is at 51.2%, and Turkey is at 36.1%.
Congresswoman Salazar voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, as did every House and Senate Republican. Defensively, after she posted her video, on Twitter she wrote: “Let me be clear: the Inflation Reduction Act will do NOTHING to reduce inflation. Instead, it’s going to raise your taxes, send American jobs overseas, and weaponize the IRS to come for your hard-earned dollars.” All of which is false for the vast majority of Americans.
In a press release targeting Rep. Salazar the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the House passed “the Inflation Reduction Act, broadly popular legislation that will lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs — all while reducing the deficit and carbon emissions, by making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”
According to reported Insider, Salazar “appears to have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law by improperly disclosing a 6-figure stock trade.”
“On June 10, Salazar disclosed in a congressional financial filing that, on February 14, she had received up to $500,000 worth of publicly traded stock in Cano Health Inc., a company that provides health care services for seniors.”
Watch Rep. Salazar’s video below or at this link:
Hoy es el primer día de clases en Miami-Dade y los precios de los útiles escolares están por las nubes. El aumento de la inflación en Miami es el resultado directo de las malas decisiones tomadas en Washington… ¡Los padres no pueden pagar esto!
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) August 17, 2022
Weisselberg Expected to ‘Criminally Implicate’ Trump Organization in Plea Deal Admitting to 15 Felonies: Reports
Allen Weisselberg, the ex-Trump Organization CFO who has worked for the former president’s family since 1970, is expected to plead guilty to 15 felonies and “criminally implicate” the real estate empire.
“The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer will admit to conspiring with the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation in a 15-year tax fraud scheme while head of the company’s finances at a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing on Thursday,” the Daily News reports. “Allen Weisselberg is expected to criminally implicate Trump’s family real estate business when he pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud charges, a source familiar with the matter told The News on Wednesday.”
Weisselberg is also expected to agree to testify against the Trump companies, and agree to a five-month sentence at Rikers Island, the horrific New York City jail that is slated to be shut down by 2026.
The New York Times calls the impending plea deal “a serious blow to the company that could imperil its chances in an upcoming trial.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
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