Last week’s New York Times piece debunking Donald Trump’s oft-repeated lie “I built what I built myself” may have gotten somewhat buried amid the coverage frenzy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing and eventual confirmation.
Even though Trump and the Trumpublicans have cause to celebrate another win, lawsuits and other ill financial omens loom large on the president’s horizon one month before 2018 mid-term elections.
Days before the Times investigation revealed the so-called “self-made billionaire” future president received at least $413 million through his father’s real estate empire and evading tax authorities, a Washington, D.C. federal district judge decided that nearly 200 Democratic senators and representatives have legal standing to sue Trump over violations to the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
This is the second time a federal judge has allowed such an action to proceed.
The first time was in April when U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte approved District of Columbia attorney Karl A. Racine and Maryland attorney general Brian E. Frosh’s lawsuit against Trump’s emoluments clause violations.
Since the Trump organization is headquartered in New York, where both Donald and his father, Fred, for decades swindled scores of clients, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is intent on recouping Trump’s unpaid taxes.
On Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio stated:
“It’s clear to me that there are real ramifications right now to what has been disclosed, either potential violations of law, or in cases where the statute of limitations has ended that there may be very serious civil penalties that can be applied by both the state and the city. The city of New York is looking to recoup any money that Donald Trump owes the people of New York City, period.”
The Trump family could owe the state of New York more than $400 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties, prompting the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to initiate an investigation into “dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud.”
“[Years] of illegal conduct by the Foundation and its board members includes improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law.”
By legal definition, the Trump Foundation case meets all federal requirements for criminal prosecution. Violations are financially significant, involve activity spanning several years, are conspicuous, elaborate, and provide incredible explanations.
Because of these revelations, Democrats now have a clear, substantiated path to pursuing their own investigation into the president should they reclaim the House and/or the Senate next year.
David Cay Johnston, author of It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America, stated on MSNBC:
“It adds to the evidence that the Trumps are a crime family as I’ve been asserting for a long time and it will be a roadmap for the Democrats if they get control of either chamber of Congress to hold hearings, investigate, and make Donald Trump’s recent tax returns public and if they show criminal conduct, to indict the President Of The United States.”
Susanne Craig, one of the Times investigative reporters to author this week’s bombshell article against Trump, revealed the Times has new leads it plans to publicize.
To CNN‘s Brian Stelter, Craig said:
“We will keep going on it. There’s a lot of information we have been given. We’re excited to come in Monday morning and get going.”
Let’s see what breaks next week.
Image credit: CNN Money