Yesterday the New York Times dropped a bombshell on the political world when it published a lengthy article about Donald Trump’s finances, including how he inherited hundreds of millions of dollars and committed massive amounts of tax fraud.
As the article said:
“The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.”
The political ramifications of the article won’t be known for some time. Many Trump supporters will look at the article and say it just shows how smart Trump is in business.
After the article was published, Showtime announced that is has produced a new documentary film centered on the New York Times report about Trump and his family.
“The film follows a team of New York Times investigative reporters through their diligent and intense efforts in uncovering the information that led to this exclusive report,” according to a news release distributed by Showtime.
The documentary is part of the Showtime series about journalism called “The Fourth Estate,” which premiered on the channel earlier this year. The name of the segment on Trump is called “The Family Business: Trump and Taxes.” It will appear on Showtime on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
To create the film, a crew was embedded for more than a year with Times investigative reporters David Barstow, Russell Buettner and Susanne Craig. The documentary goes into detail about the three journalist’s diligent efforts to research and report on the alleged Trump family tax scheme.
According to the Showtime press release:
“Mr. Trump has proclaimed himself to be a self-made billionaire but what these reporters found offers a very different account, based on tens of thousands of pages of financial documents they obtained, including more than 200 Trump family tax returns.”
Many legal and tax issues surrounding the article in the Times have not been resolved. It’s unclear what kind of legal exposure the president might face, either while in office or after he leaves.
Last night New York state tax officials announced they are “vigorously” reviewing the allegations that Trump received hundreds of millions of dollars from his father Fred Trump’s New York real estate business via what the paper deemed “questionable” tax practices.
According to the Times, Trump’s parents left over $1 billion to their children. Under tax laws in effect at the time, they should have owed approximately $550 million in taxes at the time of their deaths. However, the Times reported that the Trumps only paid $52.2 million in taxes. The article also points out that the “saving” of nearly $500 million taxes was accomplished through fraudulent means.
In response to the article, the president’s attorney, Charles Harder, called the Times’ allegations of tax evasion “100 percent false.” He also said that President Trump “had virtually no involvement” in implementing the tax strategies the family deployed.
The president’s brother, Robert Trump, told the Times that “All appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid.”
Then-candidate Trump drew criticism for not releasing his tax returns during the 2016 campaign. Trump said he was “under audit” and would not release his returns until the audit was completed.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.
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