Trump hires new lawyer who says not to hand over tax returns as Democrats demand

The problem is: no, they absolutely would not. His tax information is going to be most damning in relation to other data - e.g. showing his involvement in money laundering, which isn’t even a crime that the IRS would be looking at. So it’s not just about what tax laws he violated, but I also reject your assumptions. Hell, we already know, from newspaper reporting, that Trump engaged in all sorts of tax and bank fraud over the years that didn’t get caught. (But the reported instances are too far back to be prosecuted now.) The IRS has always been terrible at detecting the malfeasance of the wealthy and even more so in recent years as they’ve been de-funded and moved their attention to lower-income filings.

Really? [expletive deleted] seriously? Documents relative to accusations that Trump engaging in more recent instances of the kinds of crimes we know he’s historically engaged in is “a lot” like a totally baseless, racist conspiracy theory that refused to accept reality? (Personally I’d say the two situations are complete fucking inverses of each other, not similar.)

To be clear - a legal demand has been made. What Trump or his lawyer have to say about it, whatever objections they have, has fuck all to do with the process - they’re irrelevant. They’re not being asked for, nor providing the documents. If a Trump appointee in the IRS decides to break the law, there is a process for dealing with it, and it should - must - be dealt with, because that, in itself, is a fucking scandal.

The problem is that we know the Mueller report was only investigating one, specific issue: Russian interference in the election. It’s quite likely that Trump simply passively accepted Russian help, and, separately, sold out US foreign policy (e.g. getting the Republican platform changed to be more pro-Russia) to the Russians because he does - hoped to do - business there, which would be outside the scope of the investigation. It doesn’t even cover all the multitude of crimes and ethics violations Trump has committed since the election. This administration is so broadly corrupt and criminal, it would be absurd to focus on one specific issue and ignore the rest. We need more investigations just to begin to cover all the things Trump has done openly.


Something that everyone in the country should have heard a million times by now (and would if we had competent news): all sitting U.S. presidents are audited every year as required by federal law. The “I’m under audit so I can’t” is a lame lie even by 45’s standards. All presidents are audited, and except for trump, all release returns


Oh damn!!! Happy birthday to me!! Cant think of a better present for my 56th than saying goodbye to this 4 year nightmare.


The IRS has always been unfairly maligned in my opinion. It’s easy to hate the agency because they’re the public face of the Federal tax system, but the problems with that system are really on Congress and not on the people tasked with implementing it.


That’s because an awful lot of the worst stuff wasn’t actually illegal. Reckless and frequently extremely unethical, but not illegal. Regulators were behind the curve of the financial innovation, a lot of the trouble stemmed from “shadow banking” businesses who actually weren’t subject to the existing regulations, etc. (Remember that the big Wall Street banks themselves lost sight of just how much risk they were taking on because the mortgage derivatives they used were so opaque even they could no longer tell what was what.)


My ex-wife is an investigator for the Dept of Labor. So think IRS, but she deals with pension and benefits shenanigans. If in the course of her investigation she finds something else that may be of a criminal nature, but not within the scope of what she is supposed to be investigating, then she kicks it to the department that does handle that. These people live to kick it to people cheating the system. No one is shrugging “not my job” and ignoring other crimes.

Though I do have a question: what “legal or ethical misconduct” would a tax return show and can you give examples of this happening in the past? I ask because other than cheating on my taxes, even when I was doing the long complicated forms with an accountant, I can’t think what other crimes my return would show. This isn’t a snarky question. Have we busted people of other non-tax crimes due to an IRS or audit?

I’ll give you the same question as above then. Have we busted people of other non-tax crimes due to an IRS or audit? I mean Al Capone did all kinds of shady shit, but he was busted on not paying his taxes. But I confess that my attitude from this partly stems from lack of knowing any other cases where public scrutiny of a tax return lead to a conviction of other crimes. I am not even aware of tax returns scrutinized by the IRS leading to convictions of non-tax related crimes, but I suppose that is possible if they see something fishy to kick it to another department.

So yes, part of my attitude is lack of prior examples and if you guys can give me a handful, then I will have to concede your point.

And my comparison wasn’t that the two were equally baseless or that Obama was a guilty as we know Trump to be. My comparison is that the release of the documents won’t matter, IMO.

Right - but it should be made public. Even if there isn’t enough evidence to act on - i mean there are a lot of cases where there was no conviction, but we all know…

But if Muller couldn’t find a direct link to a scandal we know that is there, I just don’t hold out hope that public sleuths looking at tax returns are going to find a smoking gun that the IRS wouldn’t have acted on previously. Call me pessimistic, but I am trying to manage my expectations.

One pretty obvious example: a tax return might show that a public servant was getting a lot of his income from an industry he ought to be regulating or a country the US ought not to be supporting. That kind of thing might or might not meet the threshold of “criminal conduct” but it’s something the public should know about just the same.


The fact he didn’t put his businesses in a trust we know for a fact that is happening because even if big coal or someone isn’t paying him directly, he is overseeing the government effects his businesses. But again, that won’t get him removed from office. I concede the point the returns would likely add more evidence is a shifty shithead, but not actually result in consequences.

Again, the point need not be to have him removed from office. The point could simply be to get more people to take a critical look at the policies he’s supporting out of naked financial self-interest.


That’s the part I don’t get. It’s pretty obvious a quid pro quo occurred. Russia helped Trump in exchange for a lifting of sanctions. Cut and dried. Whether Trump initiated it or asked for it should be irrelevant - his campaign still knowingly accepted Russian help and there is enough documentary evidence out in the open to prove it. Even passively accepting Russian help without a quo is a violation of campaign laws.

The only conclusion I can make is that Mueller stopped short of prosecuting not because of lack of evidence but because of who is involved.

Mueller is still a Republican despite his reputation as a straight-shooter. Number one rule in Republican Club is you do not turn against other Republicans.


I dunno, “let’s create a ‘product’ that stuffs a whole bunch of loans with knowingly high probabilities of default into a package that we sell as a top-rated bond” seems less like “innovation” and more like “fraud”. But I guess that’s why I’m not being paid the big bucks to work at the SEC.

I think Mueller’s reticence to issue indictments against Trump probably has less to do with partisanship and more to do with his intent to adhere to current DOJ doctrine on the indictability of a sitting president. Not to say that’s necessarily a better reason, just a different one.


Yeah, I don’t get it either. Possibly either whatever crimes that covers was outside what was specifically being looked at, or the help was accepted so passively as far as Trump was concerned (i.e. Manafort was doing quid pro quos and influencing Trump to change policy without his being aware of it), with Trump purely as a useful idiot - with emphasis on the ‘idiot’ - that only the already prosecuted members of the campaign will be held liable.
I’m disturbed by the possibility that the White House’s defense, “We were approached by Russians who wanted to do crimes with us, but they didn’t offer anything substantial, so we decided not to do crimes,” is potentially working for them. (Though surely that leaves open obstruction charges, as they tried hard to cover up that they wanted to commit crimes.)

That seems fairly likely too. It was suggested that, from the start, whatever was uncovered, it might be the approach he’d take. I.e. leaving it up to Congress to prosecute. That Congress isn’t getting to see the report becomes… problematic.


Interesting that the White House thinks that it’s in the loop on this request.


Well, considering that the IRS commissioner is a Trump toadie, they kinda are in the loop.

As the law is written, I don’t see them having wiggle room, but my guess is that they don’t care, laws don’t apply to Il Douche, only to peons and victims.


There was definitely fraud, as @alahmnat points out. Bundling loans that are NEVER going to be paid off and are for properties worth a fraction of the loan amount together then selling the bundle as A grade is fraud. That’s on both the banks putting the tranches together and on the rating agencies who knowingly rated shit tranches as grade A just because they wanted to be buddies with the cool kids at Goldman and Deutsche.


At that point, Congress can use the Capt. Reynolds approach with the IRS commissioner:


It can be fraud without being illegal. As @LurksNoMore puts it

I.e., regulations had yet to be made that would classify those “innovations” as fraud in the criminal code or equivalent.

Edited for better quoting.


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It will go to the Supreme Court. The Court will decide something.

There will be many many meaningless headlines between now and then.


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