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Did Trump Engage in Tax Evasion via His Foundation?

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New Washington Post Investigation Questions $2.3 Million in Donations

Did Donald Trump, knowingly or not, engage in tax evasion? The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold reports instead of paying Donald Trump directly, millions owed to him were directed to the Trump Foundation, a tax-exempt entity.

Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has received approximately $2.3 million from companies that owed money to Trump or one of his businesses but were instructed to pay Trump’s tax-exempt foundation instead, according to people familiar with the transactions,” Fahrenthold reports.

In one instance, the Post reports, “a man in New York City who sells sought-after tickets and one-of-a-kind experiences to wealthy clients … was instructed to pay the Donald J. Trump Foundation instead.” The total of those payments: “nearly $1.9 million.”

Another reportedly was $400,000 from Comedy Central for a 2011 roast.

In cases where he diverted his own income to his foundation, tax experts said, Trump would still likely be required to pay taxes on the income,” the Post reports. “Trump has refused to release his personal tax returns. His campaign said he paid income tax on one of the donations, but did not respond to questions about the others.”

Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall sums it up, writing that Fahrenthold “appears to have caught Trump in major tax evasion using his charity. Tax evasion on the back end, self-dealing on the front. That makes the whole entity look like a tax dodge.”

To be clear, this looks really bad. Tax and non-profit experts, which we are not, will no doubt weigh in over the next few days. It’s actually stunning it’s not making more headlines right now. It should be.

A few responses via Twitter:

 

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license 

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NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIDE IT

Trump Openly Admits He’s Fast-Tracking SCOTUS Nominee to Rule on ‘Fake Ballots’ During Contested Election

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President Donald Trump is openly admitting he’s wasting no time, fast-tracking the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to help him during a contested election.

Speaking on “Fox & Friends,” Trump on Monday said because of “fake ballots,” he does not want a 4-4 Supreme Court ruling on the election, should there be one. There is zero evidence of fake ballots.

He also admitted he is choosing a nominee based on how he thinks they can help him win votes in the election.

Asked to explain why Judge Barbara Lagoa is one of the top candidates on his list, Trump said, “she’s excellent, she’s Hispanic, she’s a terrific woman from everything I know. I don’t know her. Florida, we love Florida. So she’s got a lot of things. Very smart.”

Trump needs help with Hispanic voters, women, and Florida, so she checks all the boxes for him.

Trump, asked “is politics going to be part of” his decision on a nominee, says, “I try not to say so,” but admits, “I think probably automatically it is.”

 

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News

Kayleigh McEnany Says Trump ‘Very Likely’ Will Nominate New Supreme Court Justice Before Ruth Bader Ginsburg is Buried

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump will announce his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, mostly likely by Tuesday. The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court. The date of her funeral, which will be a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, has not even been announced yet.

Asked if the nomination would be announced “before Wednesday,” she replied, “I think that’s very likely.”

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Monday morning also hinted the announcement would come Tuesday.

 

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OPINION

‘This Is for the People to Decide’: Jaw-Dropping CNN Supercut Lays Bare the GOP’s Stunning Hypocrisy on SCOTUS

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As the battle over replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer — takes shape in Washington, D.C., Republican senators who previously refused to hold a vote on former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick are now having their words thrown in their faces.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Saturday played a devastating supercut that features Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explaining why they would not vote on Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

“I want you to use my words against me,” Graham said in 2016 — laying out what Cooper described as an “eerily similar” situation as the one currently playing out in Congress. “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, ‘Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’ and you could use my words against me and you would be absolutely right.”

“We’re setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year, at least of a lame duck eight-year term, I would say it’s going to be a four-year term, that you’re not going to fill a vacancy of the Supreme Court based on what we’re doing here today,” he added. “That’s going to be the new rule.”

In his own floor speech on the matter in 2016, McConnell likewise urged Congress to give the American people a say in the Supreme Court pick.

“The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country. So, of course, of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction,” McConnell said.

Cruz — who was shortlisted by Trump as a potential SCOTUS pick earlier this month — also insisted in 2016 that Congress should not move to replace Scalia until after the election.

“I don’t think we should be moving forward on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term, Cruz said. “I would say that if it was a republican president.”

“President Obama is eager to appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement this year,” he continued. “But do you know in the last 80 years we have not once has the Senate confirmed a nomination made in an election year and now is no year to start. This is for the people to decide. I intend to make 2016 a referendum on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Of course, all three men have now signaled they’re much more likely in 2020 to jam a conservative Supreme Court justice down voters’ throats on the eve of an election. After President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted that the Senate has an “obligation” select a replacement for Ginsburg, Graham said he “fully” understands where the president is coming from.

In case that statement seems vague, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman added: ”I will support President [Trump] in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.”

And McConnell has also insisted “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

And in perhaps the least surprising flip-flop of all, Cruz on Saturday wrote an opinion piece for Fox News that outlined 3 reasons why the Senate must confirm Ginsburg’s replacement before election day. In it, he touted Trump’s “list of extremely qualified, principled constitutionalists who could serve on the Supreme Court” — which, of course, included himself — and argued that going into an election with an 8 person bench could trigger a constitutional crisis in the event of a contested election.

Amazing how now of the senators were concerned with such a problem when Obama appointed his nominee.

Watch the video below to see the blatant hypocrisy for yourself:

 

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