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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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Rudy Giuliani Suspended From Practicing Law Over ‘Demonstrably False and Misleading Statements’: Report

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Rudy Giuliani has been temporarily suspended from practicing law over his  false and misleading statements about the 2020 presidential election.

“A disciplinary body says he made ‘demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump,'” Reuters’ Jan Wolfe reports, citing a New York Supreme Court document.

The document goes on to say that Giuliani’s “conduct immediately threatens the public interest.”

“The suspension is a stunning blow to Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who previously served as a top Justice Department official, and the head prosecutor for the federal Southern District of New York,” CNBC adds.

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

 

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‘You Don’t See Buildings Falling Down in America’ Shocked Mayor Says After 12-Story Condo ‘Literally Pancaked’

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Mayor Charles Burkett, on the scene of a partial collapse of a 12-story 100-unit condominium building in Surfside, Florida said he’s lived in the town his entire life and has never seen anything like this.

“You don’t see buildings falling down in America,” Burkett, stunned, told CNN Thursday morning, “and here we had a building literally fall down.”

He said it’s “less likely than a lightning strike.”

One person is reported dead after the building collapsed around 2 AM with CNN saying a “considerable portion” of the building is gone. Burkett suggests there may be more fatalities.

“The problem is the building has literally pancaked,” he says. “It’s heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean, to me, that we’re going to be successful, as successful as we want to be, to find people alive.”

 

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‘Florida Goes Full Fascist’: Ron DeSantis Sparks Furious Backlash With ‘Authoritarian’ Campus Political Surveys

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Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation requiring Florida students, faculty and staff to register their political views in surveys in an effort to promote “intellectual diversity” at colleges and universities, and the measure set off backlash across social media.

Critics decried the law, which DeSantis claims will promote freedom of speech, as a “thoroughly Orwellian” attempt to gain control over academic debate at institutions of higher learning.

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