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Old 08-07-2019, 02:57 PM
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Trump's Tax Returns and Money Laundering


The President has been fighting harder than ever before to prevent a general disclosure of his tax returns. This to me is the linchpin to whether he wins a 2nd term in office or even finishes his term.

So, what if Trump's Tax Returns show he has engaged in Money laundering for Russian Oligarchs? Will Senate Republican continue to turn a blind eye to this kind of criminality?
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Last edited by Clu-Me-In; 08-07-2019 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Clu-Me-In View Post
The President has been fighting harder than ever before to prevent a general disclosure of his tax returns. This to me is the linchpin to whether he wins a 2nd term in office or even finishes his term.

So, what if Trump's Tax Returns show he has engaged in Money laundering for Russian Oligarchs? Will Senate Republican continue to turn a blind eye to this kind of criminality?
Of course they would. There is nothing he could do to make the Republicans disavow him because they are scared shitless of his base.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:11 PM
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I think that what might be found in his returns is simply written, signed proof that he's a liar. You know, just generally. I'm not sure there is anything specific that can be put together from them, aside from the fact that he's full of shit.
And Republicans in congress will bend over backwards to cover for him. Shit, they're already doing that to keep them from being given to congress. Expect that to continue.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:37 PM
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I think that what might be found in his returns is simply written, signed proof that he's a liar. You know, just generally. I'm not sure there is anything specific that can be put together from them, aside from the fact that he's full of shit.
And Republicans in congress will bend over backwards to cover for him. Shit, they're already doing that to keep them from being given to congress. Expect that to continue.
I give it about a 95% chance that he wrote off the hush money he paid to Stormy Daniels as "legal expenses" based on phony invoices from Michael Cohen, just based on what's publicly known about how that transaction went down. I think it's also reasonably clear that Trump and all his siblings profited from blatant tax fraud engineered originally by their father Fred, but in that case it might be too late to bring charges for it. (The NYT had a couple of exposes about it, and Trump's sister Maryanne just up and resigned as a federal judge rather than have her own taxes probed.)
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:42 PM
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I am not an accountant -

Aside from the basic Trump reaction to defend himself against all perceived attacks, ISTM his reasoning for not wanting his tax returns available are:
  • It will show that he is not a rich as he proclaims.
  • It will open him up to accusations of fraud. The game for him is to low ball on taxes, and to overstate when getting loans. Either way he's gaming/cheating/lying, and NY AG's would be very interested to know just when and how.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:57 PM
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... Trump's sister Maryanne just up and resigned as a federal judge rather than have her own taxes probed.)
Wow, I hadn't heard about that. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:28 PM
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So, what if Trump's Tax Returns show he has engaged in Money laundering for Russian Oligarchs?
I am not an expert in tax law, but just as a matter of common sense, can someone explain to me how a wealthy individual under constant audit would submit tax returns that ďshow he had engaged in money laundering?Ē I mean, if the crime itself is being covered up, wouldnít the tax returns be just as opaque?

I just donít get what people expect to see in the tax returns that would constitute the smoking gun for such a crime. In order for me to believe this, Iíd have to believe Trump has been honest in his tax returns (fat chance) and that the IRS has just decided not to pursue this smoking gun evidence of money laundering or whatever for more than a decade, despite having the tax returns that would (in this fantastical scenario) prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

I believe that his returns are embarrassing in that he isnít as rich as he makes out and he pays a much smaller percent of his income in taxes. I just donít believe his tax returns would be the eureka moment when heís indicted for a bazillion crimes.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:55 PM
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I believe that his returns are embarrassing in that he isnít as rich as he makes out and he pays a much smaller percent of his income in taxes. I just donít believe his tax returns would be the eureka moment when heís indicted for a bazillion crimes.
Again, it's not about the tax returns in isolation. When you compare them to what he stated to get loans, then it gets dicier.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:00 PM
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Again, it's not about the tax returns in isolation. When you compare them to what he stated to get loans, then it gets dicier.
As far as I can tell, only one bank would do business with him in recent decades, and they did so knowing that he was a terrible risk. I would not at all rule out that there was something bad going on there, I just donít see how tax returns shine further light on that.

After all, if Deutche Bank is involved in corrupt deals - a likelihood, IMHO - its hard to see that they were defrauded by Trumpís declarations of his income. Surely they were in cahoots with each other, which says to me that whatís on his returns is irrelevant.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:57 PM
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Could be, but there's only one way to find out. Michael Cohen gave congress all the reason they need in his testimony.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:34 PM
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So, what if Trump's Tax Returns show he has engaged in Money laundering for Russian Oligarchs? Will Senate Republican continue to turn a blind eye to this kind of criminality?
I feel like a lot of people are glossing over the fact that a large part of having a top secret clearance (which the President has by nature of his job) is to not be beholden financially or otherwise to foreign interests. If he wasn't president, the current circumstantial evidence on this front would likely send him to prison for many, many years for putting our nation at risk. The only thing protecting him is the office.

I've also been wondering how in the world the Republican party can support this. I know many of them, like McConnell are just as corrupt (or more), but.. the entire party?

Speaking as someone who went through background investigations recently enough that it's all fresh, my mind boggles how he got approved for a clearance. I know, they pushed it through. I feel really bad for the CIA, FBI and whichever other agencies are responsible and accountable for the right people being cleared and the wrong ones not. They are surely doing time "in the barrel" these last few years!
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:54 PM
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The President doesn't get approved for a clearance. When the people of the United States elected him, they gave him his security clearance.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Clu-Me-In View Post
The President has been fighting harder than ever before to prevent a general disclosure of his tax returns. This to me is the linchpin to whether he wins a 2nd term in office or even finishes his term.

So, what if Trump's Tax Returns show he has engaged in Money laundering for Russian Oligarchs? Will Senate Republican continue to turn a blind eye to this kind of criminality?
Can anyone cite an actual crime, as in a violation of a specific criminal statute, that Trump's tax returns would provide clear, realistic evidence that that statute had been violated?

For example, let's look at tax fraud. I'm under the impression that the IRS is pretty good at identifying tax fraud. If Trump has filed a fraudulent tax return, then why is there going to be some sudden relevant evidence that the IRS has missed?

Likewise, money laundering. If Trump is smart enough to launder money someone else's dirty money, he's smart enough to keep his own dirty money off his tax returns. What do you expect to be on the tax return that will show clear evidence of money laundering?

The other crime I've read allegations of, that the tax returns are supposed to reveal, is illegal foreign payments. Why on Earth would Trump declare illegal tax payments on his tax returns?

I'm not asking these questions as some sort of Trump denier. I believe he's a genuinely dishonest person who's played the tax system and hired accountants and tax lawyers to help him get away with it. But if someone believe's a specific law has been broken, and has an explanation of how the release of Trump's tax returns will show that that specific law has been broken, I'd like to hear it.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
Can anyone cite an actual crime, as in a violation of a specific criminal statute, that Trump's tax returns would provide clear, realistic evidence that that statute had been violated?

For example, let's look at tax fraud. I'm under the impression that the IRS is pretty good at identifying tax fraud. If Trump has filed a fraudulent tax return, then why is there going to be some sudden relevant evidence that the IRS has missed?

Likewise, money laundering. If Trump is smart enough to launder money someone else's dirty money, he's smart enough to keep his own dirty money off his tax returns. What do you expect to be on the tax return that will show clear evidence of money laundering?

The other crime I've read allegations of, that the tax returns are supposed to reveal, is illegal foreign payments. Why on Earth would Trump declare illegal tax payments on his tax returns?

I'm not asking these questions as some sort of Trump denier. I believe he's a genuinely dishonest person who's played the tax system and hired accountants and tax lawyers to help him get away with it. But if someone believe's a specific law has been broken, and has an explanation of how the release of Trump's tax returns will show that that specific law has been broken, I'd like to hear it.
It is somewhat unlikely that Trump would have clearly inserted criminal activities into the returns.

On the other hand, he has already done so and been "reprimanded" for it.

For years, he skimmed from his charity, knowing that the authorities weren't going to look too closely at the payments so long as they went to other charities. Once the press started looking into him and went through the public documents for the Trump Foundation, it was immediately clear that there was a pattern of embezzlement going on.

As the press then reported on this, on the next tax filing, the CFO explicitly marked a checkbox on the tax form for self-dealing. That is to say, they explicitly declared that they had illegally misused funds from the charity. Ultimately, you take a harder hit if you don't declare the criminal activity. I believe that there might be some similar checkboxes on individual tax returns where you can admit to criminal activity and where, if you don't, the penalty and legal ramifications will be much higher for you than if you allow the IRS to discover it on their own.

But the key thing is the difference between being one in a few million tax payers and being a guy who is individually targeted for detailed investigation by both the IRS and the media.

In previous years, when Trump filed his taxes, he only needed to obfuscate things to a level sufficient to bypass detailed scrutiny. His newer returns will be professionally obfuscated to a much more advanced degree, one assumes, but the ones from previous years will still be the same as they were when they were written. There's some chance that they won't bear the heightened scrutiny.

Quite plausibly, Trump has already had a sealed indictment for tax fraud issued against him by the IRS.

As I've noted before, when Trump gets out of office, he needs to make sure that he's on foreign soil. If he's standing in the USA when his term ends, the odds are pretty decent that the FBI will be waiting to escort him and his family to jail.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Clu-Me-In View Post
The President has been fighting harder than ever before to prevent a general disclosure of his tax returns. This to me is the linchpin to whether he wins a 2nd term in office or even finishes his term.

So, what if Trump's Tax Returns show he has engaged in Money laundering for Russian Oligarchs? Will Senate Republican continue to turn a blind eye to this kind of criminality?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC16c98hDPc

Did you... miss him say this, or just not get that he wasn't wrong about their loyalty? He has a habit of blurting out the hush-hush parts of his politics, and true-to-form, he plainly laid out the slavish loyalty of his portion of the electorate, and consequently, the Republican party that fears them.

That said, he could shoot someone in the middle of fifth avenue and he'd likely be able to retain office (thanks, Moscow Mitch ).
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:29 PM
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But if someone believe's a specific law has been broken, and has an explanation of how the release of Trump's tax returns will show that that specific law has been broken, I'd like to hear it.
Obviously if he's broken tax law, the IRS already knows. It could be that he has had financial ties to with criminal types that--while not illegal in and of themselves--just look really bad.

Everything Trump does is an act--a cheap performance for the dupes--and nothing more. That's the only thing he knows how to do. If he's afraid of anything, it's something that exposes his bullshit.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:39 PM
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Of course they would. There is nothing he could do to make the Republicans disavow him because they are scared shitless of his base.
And also, because some prominent Republicans and Republican causes are probably in the same position. Russia didn't just corrupt a campaign; it corrupted a party, and a government.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:18 AM
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The President doesn't get approved for a clearance. When the people of the United States elected him, they gave him his security clearance.
Well, I think we now know what a bad idea that is. Why are the security agencies working so hard to investigate contractors and federal workers for clearances when any old yokel is handed one just because he was elected. I see this as a gigantic flaw in our system. The person most charged with protecting and governing our national interests absolutely MUST be clearable.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:26 AM
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Well, I think we now know what a bad idea that is. Why are the security agencies working so hard to investigate contractors and federal workers for clearances when any old yokel is handed one just because he was elected. I see this as a gigantic flaw in our system. The person most charged with protecting and governing our national interests absolutely MUST be clearable.
There are various threads on this subject. The President is in charge of the clearance process, and it's up to the President as to what Executive Branch information is classified. He or She can decide who gets a clearance, who doesn't, who has access to what information, and what classification that information is.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:48 AM
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Well, I think we now know what a bad idea that is. Why are the security agencies working so hard to investigate contractors and federal workers for clearances when any old yokel is handed one just because he was elected. I see this as a gigantic flaw in our system. The person most charged with protecting and governing our national interests absolutely MUST be clearable.
[SARCASM] I agree with you. The US government should implement this idea immediately. They should establish a Department of Homeland Security agency to vet all future Presidential, Senate, House of Representatives and Supreme Court candidates and decide if the candidate has a worthy background for that office. The citizens of the US should have absolute faith that this agency will be independent and non-partisan. [/SARCASM]

By the way, does past drug use rule someone out of holding a top-secret clearance? Or is that merely a factor that can be considered by the independent, non-partisan vetting agency?
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:36 AM
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We already do have a committee, which includes a wide variety of experts, who vets presidential candidates in great detail and determines whether they're fit to hold office. And in 2016, 62,984,828 members of that committee decided that he was fit.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:45 AM
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Of course they would. There is nothing he could do to make the Republicans disavow him because they are scared shitless of his base.
Do you think that his base would stay with him if there was incontrovertible proof that his businesses helped to launder and funnel money to the 9/11 terrorists?
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:47 AM
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Do you think that his base would stay with him if there was incontrovertible proof that his businesses helped to launder and funnel money to the 9/11 terrorists?
That's easy - "Fake news created by the Deep State and Crooked Hillary. Her deleted emails showed how they were doing it, that's why they were acid-washed"
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:47 AM
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We already do have a committee, which includes a wide variety of experts, who vets presidential candidates in great detail and determines whether they're fit to hold office. And in 2016, 62,984,828 members of that committee decided that he was fit.
Are you testifying that this shows the current system works, or are you testifying that this shows the current system doesn't work?
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:03 AM
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I'm testifying that this is what the current system does. I don't claim that it actually works, but nor do I claim that any other alternative would work any better.
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:42 AM
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I'm testifying that this is what the current system does. I don't claim that it actually works, but nor do I claim that any other alternative would work any better.
You can either have a democracy and take the chance that the people elect someone that you don't want them to elect, or you do not have a democracy, and take a chance the leaders are people the people wouldn't want to elect.

The only system that would work any better would be to put me in charge of everything.
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:56 PM
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Perhaps, but many of us are of mature years, and might not be available to offer you guidance.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:26 AM
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I feel like a lot of people are glossing over the fact that a large part of having a top secret clearance (which the President has by nature of his job) is to not be beholden financially or otherwise to foreign interests. If he wasn't president, the current circumstantial evidence on this front would likely send him to prison for many, many years for putting our nation at risk. The only thing protecting him is the office.



I've also been wondering how in the world the Republican party can support this. I know many of them, like McConnell are just as corrupt (or more), but.. the entire party?



Speaking as someone who went through background investigations recently enough that it's all fresh, my mind boggles how he got approved for a clearance. I know, they pushed it through. I feel really bad for the CIA, FBI and whichever other agencies are responsible and accountable for the right people being cleared and the wrong ones not. They are surely doing time "in the barrel" these last few years!
Speaking of McConnell, I saw an article today that he's being Trump's wingman in a possible attempt to replace Pence as VP on the 2020 ticket.

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Old 08-13-2019, 11:57 AM
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Speaking of McConnell, I saw an article today that he's being Trump's wingman in a possible attempt to replace Pence as VP on the 2020 ticket.

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This makes absolutely no sense. McConnel has virtually no chance to survive to and then win election as president, so the title of vice president (which is a fancy word for "useless spare" unless you're attempting the Biden->President route) would be a massive downgrade to his current position. And by massive, I mean most powerful human on earth to literally an insurance policy with no actual authority except sometimes maybe a tiebreaker.

Remember, the Senate is more powerful than the presidency, though it has loaned a lot of that power to the office of the executive. If sufficiently motivated, all of this (historical) executive overreach could be curtailed in short order and McConnel could reassert his real power.

Why bother with VP when he's already at the top? Only reasonable if he thinks he's going to loose his congressional seat, and that doesn't seem likely from where I'm sitting. I hope Moscow McTurtle gets crucified, but that doesn't seem likely.
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