This article from today’s NYT will surprise no one here, I am sure:
President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help.
But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.
Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.
These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.
The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.
The Times does good work here. Their Beltway coverage is catastrophically bad, but they have some solid reporters on staff. Too bad no one slogged through those boring old financial records in early 2016, but better late than never.
As we’ve discussed in comments in connection with the Manafort trial and the many other Trump-adjacent scandals, the Trump administration is a clinic on white collar crime. Some Democrats are shouting that from the rooftops, including Warren and Pelosi. I hope they keep it up.
PS: Did y’all even know Trump had a living brother named Robert? I didn’t until I read the pained statement denying the tax cheating in response to the linked article. I knew Trump has a sister who’s a judge and probably ashamed of brother Donald, and I knew he had a brother Fred, but Fred is dead. Are there any others? I don’t really care. It’s just weird how reporters chased down President Obama’s third cousins in Kenya but have nary a word to say about Trump’s siblings.