Even though Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has wrapped up – though we still have yet to see the actual report – Donald Trump continues to be scrutinized for his shady business dealings, which were largely outside the purview of the special counsel probe.
According to a new report from The Washington Post, Trump repeatedly inflated his wealth in order to get loans: “When Donald Trump wanted to make a good impression — on a lender, a business partner, or a journalist — he sometimes sent them official-looking documents called ‘Statements of Financial Condition.'”
David Fahrenthold, one of the reporters who broke the story on Thursday, listed some examples of Trump’s lying about his wealth:
NEW: How did @realDonaldTrump inflate his net worth to lenders?
–Added 10 stories to Trump Tower.
–Added 800 acres to his winery.
–Added 24 ready-to-sell lots to his property in CA.
We’ve got (some of the) inflated docs investigators now want to see. https://t.co/cNfKTsSlrW
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) March 28, 2019
More from The Washington Post:
These documents sometimes ran up to 20 pages. They were full of numbers, laying out Trump’s properties, debts and multibillion-dollar net worth.
But, for someone trying to get a true picture of Trump’s net worth, the documents were deeply flawed. Some simply omitted properties that carried big debts. Some assets were overvalued. And some key numbers were wrong.
Now, investigators on Capitol Hill and in New York are homing in on these unusual documents in an apparent attempt to determine whether Trump’s familiar habit of bragging about his wealth ever crossed a line into fraud.
The statements are at the center of at least two of the inquiries that continue to follow Trump, unaffected by the end of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said it had requested 10 years of these statements from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA.
Trump’s potential crimes extend well beyond the Mueller report
While Trump and his allies might be taking victory laps over William Barr’s letter released last weekend, his potential criminal behavior extends well beyond the special counsel probe.
Not only is it likely that Mueller’s complete findings will make the White House celebrations look silly in hindsight, but the report itself is irrelevant to many of the investigations that continue to circle around the president, his businesses and his family.
As The Post noted on Thursday, Democrats in the House of Representatives and authorities in New York are moving full speed ahead with their investigations of this president.
When investigators get done digging through all of Donald Trump’s shady business dealings, not only won’t he be celebrating, but he’ll likely regret ever running for president in the first place.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.