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FROM THIS EPISODE

Last week, the New York Times published a story that calls out President Trump’s oft repeated claim he started out with a modest $1 million loan from his father. It turns out he actually inherited over $400 million from his father and the Trumps used aggressive strategies to avoid paying taxes on that money — in their reporting, the Times called it “outright fraud.” Is President Trump actually in legal trouble here? The IRS is part of his executive branch — can he stop the IRS from investigating him? Could he use his pardon power on tax penalties? Then, Ken and Josh catch up on Rick Gates — remember him? He’s Paul Manafort’s former business partner, who pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort. A bunch of court documents were recently unsealed and it revealed a bunch of lawyer drama. Then: liberals are mad at Michael Avenatti for getting involved with Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Did Avenatti disserve his client Julie Swetnick?

MORE SIGNIFICANTLY FROM A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE, DONALD AND HIS SIBLINGS USED EXTENSIVE STRATEGIES TO AVOID GIFT AND ESTATE TAXES ON MONEY THEY RECEIVED FROM THEIR PARENTS.

SOME OF THESE WEALTH TRANSFERS WERE “AGGRESSIVE” OR WHATEVER EUPHEMISM YOU WANT TO USE TO AVOID DECLARING THAT SOMETHING IS ILLEGAL. BUT THE TIMES AND ITS OWN LAWYERS GOT COMFORTABLE ENOUGH TO CALL SOME OF THE STRATEGIES QUOTE OUTRIGHT FRAUD.

IN ONE CASE, THE TRUMP CHILDREN CREATED A SHELL COMPANY TO SEND INVOICES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OTHER SERVICES TO BUILDINGS FRED TRUMP OWNED.

ACCORDING TO THE TIMES, THEY WOULD PAD THE INVOICES, AND THE EXCESS PAYMENTS, WHICH WERE REALLY INTERGENERATIONAL WEALTH TRANSFERS, JUST LOOKED LIKE REIMBURSEMENTS FOR ORDINARY BUILDING EXPENSES, SO THEY WEREN’T TAXED AS INCOME OR GIFTS.

THE TRUMPS WERE ALSO ABLE TO USE THESE PADDED EXPENSES TO JUSTIFY RENT INCREASES ON TENANTS, THE TIMES SAYS.


Police stand outside Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York City, U.S., July 27, 2018. Photo credit: Jeenah Moon/Reuters

CREDITS

Hosts:
Josh Barro
Ken White

Producers:
Sara Fay

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