Today is a big day. The Supreme Court will decide two different cases involving Trump’s taxes. In both cases an entity separate from Trump was subpoenaed to divulge Trump’s tax returns, yet Trump sued to prevent the parties from having to cough up the documents. One case revolved around a Congressional subpoena of the US Treasury to provide them with Trump’s taxes, in accordance with a law passed by Congress requiring the Treasury to hand over tax returns on demand. The other case revolved around a subpoena from the Manhattan District Attorney to Trump’s tax accountant, Mazars, a mid-sized accounting firm based in Paris, demanding eight years of Trump’s taxes for an investigation of his hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, and possibly others.
Legal observers and prognosticators seem to think that the subpoena from Congress to the Treasury is the weaker case, and more likely to be decided in favor of the Treasury. But they also believe that the Mazars case is much more likely to be decided in favor of the Manhattan DA–who might discover other irregularities in those tax returns to investigate once they are handed over.
It’s worth recalling, amid the countless scandals of the Trump regime, that Trump has been credibly accused of gaining his fortune illegally, through fraud. This charge was detailed in October of 2018 by the New York Times in their single-longest-story-ever-published, which won the three authors a Pulitzer Prize. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently described it this way on Twitter:
It is one of the great, overlooked jaw-droppers of the scandal-ridden Trump era that his older sister really did have to give up her lifetime seat on the federal bench in order to avoid a judicial ethics inquiry into a massive multi-million dollar, alleged tax fraud scheme.
The Pulitzer-winning story can be found here:
Donald Trump’s niece Mary was the source of the material that propelled the Times’ tax fraud story, and her new book goes into detail about how she was affected. When real-estate mogul Fred Trump died (Donald’s father, Mary’s grandfather) his estate was worth a paltry thirty-million dollars, and Mary sued for a share because her father died many years before her grandfather. She eventually negotiated a settlement. But the Times discovered that in years leading up to Fred Trump’s death he and his remaining children conspired to secretly and illicitly siphon Fred’s assets into a shell company the children controlled, avoiding gift and estate taxes. They did this by disguising transfers and payments as gifts, and by transferring property at vastly underinflated values. At one point Fred Trump may have had as much as a billion dollars of real estate, yet at the time of his death only 30 million remained. So Mary and other family members were defrauded, along with the IRS and US Treasury, to the tune of hundreds of millions. According to the Times, Donald Trump received around $413 million in today’s dollars from the scheme.
In a normal country, with a president who isn’t also a cult leader, this tax fraud scandal would have brought the presidency down, just like it brought his sister’s judicial career to an ignominious end. But it was swept from the headlines by a tsunami of subsequent Trump scandals and outrages that continue to flood the headlines to this day.
“Successful businessman Trump” wasn’t self made nor successful in business. He was a real-estate heir who used his trust fund to buy a lot of shiny toys, driving around in limos pretending to be a business mogul while chasing women and cheating on his wife-of-the-moment. His inheritance was a fraud, and his persona was a fraud. In her book, Mary Trump recalls never really understanding what the Donald did all day. And now we know–he role-played Master of the Universe, funded by his father’s estate.
There is no statute of limitations on tax fraud, so NY State and the IRS could conceivably claw back hundreds of millions of dollars from the Trump family, and will probably try the moment Trump is out of office. Their ability to subpoena his tax returns will play an important role in that investigation. Let’s see what happens this morning at the Supreme Court.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”