President Donald Trump’s taxes are once again landing him in hot water as New York City now wants to pursue a criminal investigation after a report revealed potential tax fraud.
For years, Trump has been inflating the value of his properties in an effort to get loans from financial institutions, only to turn around and tell the New York City Department of Finance that the value of his properties are much lower in a scheme to decrease his property taxes.
At least that’s what a ProPublica investigation found late last year.
The scheme amounts to possible tax fraud, which is why New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has referred the story to the district attorney so that a criminal investigation can be considered.
“It was looked at, and one of the specific issues within your story — or ProPublica story originally — was referred to the district attorney because there is the possibility of a criminal act having been committed,” de Blasio told WNYC in a recent interview.
“[Trump] consistently has believed he was above the law, even before he was president,” de Blasio continued. “So this is a real problem, and I think there could be some real exposure here.”
The mayor’s office cautioned, however, that the decision to pursue a criminal investigation is ultimately up to the district attorney, who is already seeking Trump’s tax returns, which would likely reveal evidence of criminal wrongdoing if any exists.
“ProPublica and WNYC’s investigation raised questions about what was reported to the Tax Commission versus bank lenders,” mayoral spokesperson Laura Feyer said in a statement to ProPublica. “The Manhattan [district attorney] is the proper jurisdiction to investigate these claims, as the city can only review what is directly reported to us. The [district attorney] has the jurisdiction to take appropriate steps if they find wrongdoing.”
The Trump Organization, of course, is lashing out by accusing de Blasio of abusing his power to investigate a political opponent, which is not only laughable, it’s ironic.
After all, de Blasio is no longer involved in the 2020 presidential race, so he would not benefit politically from such a criminal investigation. Furthermore, Trump has been impeached because he tried to bribe Ukraine into announcing a sham investigation into his political rival ahead of the 2020 Election. That’s what a real abuse of power looks like.
And if the records ProPublica looked at are any indication, Trump could soon be busted for tax fraud, and he can’t pardon himself for committing local and state crimes. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Trump recently declared himself a resident of Florida. Because if he returns to New York after his presidency, his next residence could be a prison cell.
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