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New York Opens Criminal and Civil Investigations Into Trump’s Tax Write-Offs on Fees Paid to Ivanka: NYT

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On Thursday, The New York Times reported that officials in New York State have opened a civil and a criminal fraud investigation into tax write-offs outgoing President Donald Trump took on various consulting fees he paid out, including some to his daughter Ivanka.

“The inquiries — a criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., and a civil one by the state attorney general, Letitia James — are being conducted independently. But both offices issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization in recent weeks for records related to the fees,” reported Danny Hakim, Mike McIntire, William K. Rashbaum and Ben Protess. “The subpoenas were the latest steps in the two investigations of the Trump Organization, and underscore the legal challenges awaiting the president when he leaves office in January. There is no indication that his daughter is a focus of either inquiry, which the Trump Organization has derided as politically motivated.”

“Among the revelations was that Mr. Trump reduced his taxable income by deducting about $26 million in fees to unidentified consultants as a business expense on numerous projects between 2010 and 2018,” said the report. “Some of those fees appear to have been paid to Ms. Trump, The Times found. On a 2017 disclosure she filed when joining the White House as a presidential adviser, she reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, totaling $747,622, that exactly matched consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver, British Columbia.”

The news comes after The Times published a series of reports into Trump’s tax returns — which he spent years fighting to conceal from both investigators and the American people — that showed he was heavily in debt, losing money on most of his businesses, and strategically using his losses to pay little or nothing in income taxes from year to year.

“The I.R.S. has sometimes rejected attempts to write off consulting fees if they were meant to avoid taxes and did not reflect arms-length business relationships,” said the report. “It is not known if the I.R.S. has ever questioned the Trump Organization about the practice. The tax benefit to Mr. Trump from deducting the fees on his companies’ federal returns would also be reflected on his New York returns, making it of possible interest to the state.”

 

Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls via Flickr and a CC license

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News

Trump Serves Up Paranoid Election Conspiracy Rant for Thanksgiving: ‘Flick of a Switch Can Change Course of History’

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President Donald Trump on Thanksgiving broke weeks of refusing to answer questions from reporters, and focusing his anger on Georgia called its Republican Secretary of State “an enemy of the people” while brewing up an insane new conspiracy theory.

After praising GOP Senators in two run-off elections fighting to keep their seats, Trump said he told Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, “you have a fraudulent system.”

“You have a system where the flick of a switch or the putting in of a new chip can change the course of history.”

He also falsely claimed voting rights advocate and former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams had illegally “harvested” 850,000 ballots. In reality, Abrams says 750,000 Georgia voters have requested absentee ballots.

Watch (poor quality video):

Earlier –
‘No I Can’t Say That’: Trump Says He Will Not Concede – but Will Exit White House if Electoral College Makes ‘Mistake’

 

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AMERICAN IDIOT

USAID Acting Administrator the Latest Governmental Employee to Test Positive for COVID-19

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Acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), John Barsa, has tested positive for coronavirus, Axios reported Wednesday.

Staffers told Axios that they barely wear masks in their office and that Barsa is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. H

“The acting Deputy Administrator has been isolating since he began exhibiting symptoms late Monday, Nov. 23, and will continue to until a retest is conclusive,” spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said in a statement.

Barsa was planning to travel to Honduras this weekend after the country was ravaged by recent hurricanes. Administration officials say they expect that trip won’t happen as he quarantines.

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BAD PRESIDENT

Adam Schiff: ‘A President Cannot Pardon Himself’ and the ‘Constitution is Not a Suicide Pact’

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Adam Schiff

Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) appeared on CNN Wednesday to discuss the pardon of Michael Flynn by President Donald J. Trump and the question arose regarding whether or not the president could, in fact, pardon himself.

“The Justice Department has taken the position that a president cannot pardon himself,” Schiff said. “It would ultimately be up to [the U.S. Supreme Court] to decide. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

Flynn was originally charged with admitting that he had misled investigators about details of his conversations with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential transition.

Watch the video below.

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