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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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‘Seditious Conspiracy’: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Other GOPers Over Capitol Coup

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An ethics complaint has been filed against three Republican members of Congress over their participation in events that led to the violent and deadly January 6 attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol.

Reps. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, and Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona are accused of “a seditious conspiracy to use force to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional and statutory duties to count the votes of the Electoral College,” by the Campaign for Accountability, a government ethics watchdog founded by two former members of CREW.

If the House Ethics Office finds any or all of the three Republicans violated federal law, the group is asking for them to be expelled.

Cawthorn spoke at President Trump’s January 6 rally (photo), barely hours before the armed insurrection.

“This crowd has some fight in it,” Cawthorn told Trump’s MAGA supporters. “The Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice. Make no mistake about it, they do not want you to be heard.”

North Carolina’s WLOS reports that “despite his tweets urging ‘millions of patriotic Americans stand for their country,’ Cawthorn said he felt no culpability in what unfolded” the day of the attempted coup.

“I don’t feel I had any responsibility for them attacking the Capitol,” Cawthorn said.

Two days before the domestic terror attack he posted this:

Gosar and Biggs also bear significant responsibility, according to the lead organizer.

“Far-right activist Ali Alexander, who helped rally Trump’s supporters ahead of Congress’ electoral count, has claimed he planned a rally that preceded the riot with the support of Gosar and Biggs,” The Hill reports, citing an article in The Washington Post.

 

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Pelosi to Transmit Impeachment Article to Senate Monday – Triggering Trial of Trump to Start Next Week

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi will transmit the House’s Article of Impeachment against Donald Trump for the incitement of the January 6 insurrection to the Senate on Monday. Once the Senate has received the Article it is constitutionally bound to take it up immediately.

On Thursday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his conference would be comfortable with waiting two weeks before beginning the trial of the former president, Donald J. Trump. Speaker Pelosi’s answer to McConnell, in action if not words, was no.

Axios adds that the “Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted.”

Those “ceremonial aspects” of the trial would begin Tuesday, CNN’s Manu Raju reports. “The train is in motion,” he says.

 

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Fauci: Trump’s Coronavirus Lies ‘Very Likely’ Cost Lives

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Dr. Anthony Fauci says the coronavirus misinformation now-former President Donald Trump spread for nearly a year “very likely” cost American lives.

Asked point-blank by CNN’s John Berman Friday morning if Trump’s “lack of candor” and “lack of facts” about COVID-19 “cost lives,” Fauci replied, “You know it very likely did.”

Ever the diplomat, the nation’s top infectious diseases specialist immediately added, “You know I don’t want that to be a soundbite.”

He also accused Trump of going down “paths that are not based on any science at all,” calling Trump’s wild forays into fake “cures” like hydroxychloroquine, “not helpful at all and particularly when you’re in the situation of almost being in a crisis.”

“When you start talking about things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically that clearly is not helpful,” Fauci said.

Watch:

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