Tuesday, 06 September 2016 10:26
Trump-Bondi IRS penalty pay-to-play claims, more income tax disclosure fodder
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trump bondiThere is now, even more than ever before, compelling reasons for Donald Trump to release his income tax records before the upcoming elections.

On Friday, the Washington Post provided an update to the Donald Trump political contribution to Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, story.  The article provided evidence that Donald Trump paid a $2500 penalty in relationship to that contribution.  There is strong reason to believe Trump and Bondi were involved in a pay-per- play scheme in which Trump was trying to hide from the IRS, his political donation to Bondi.

As we all know, Don Trump has refused to make his income tax available although he had previously stated he would do so if he were to run for President.  During the primary debates, he first said he would release them when they are ready, then he informed us that his taxes are being audited.  Then, he blamed his attorneys claiming they would not allow him to provide them to the public until the audit is over.  However, the IRS poured cold water on that bogus defense.  As proof of the hiding records until elections, he refuses to release even those returns not being audited.   

Trump supporters appear to be protecting him from this release.  Their argument is the public has no legal right to them to “he's been such a stellar businessman with sterling record of business ethics, so there is no need to reveal that information that his opponents will use to eviscerate Trump.

However, there are serious questions about relationships that he has with Russia, and substantial funding obligations he has to China.  He claims no relationship and no conversations with Putin, yet prior statements belie those claims.  Also, just as we don’t know what Clinton might do to benefit the family foundation, we have every reason to be downright concerned about Trump’s helping his family business, should he be president. 

We know that he has paid no taxes in the past, despite an enormous income and that court records reveal some possible fraud, the long-term tax attorney and preparer said he did not prepare it, although acknowledging the signature.  We also know that his tax valuations are questionable.  Recently, it was reported that he placed a very high value over fifty million dollars on a golf course when he wanted the property to show value, for his FEC worth, yet, when it came time to assess the property tax, the property was only worth less than two-million-dollars.  In essence, he wants government services, but doesn’t want to pay for them.

Trump has insisted upon Hillary Clinton releasing her medical records.  Already, her medical reports are substantially documented compared to the lunatic letter from his doctor that claimed he would be the healthiest president in American history.   Given that Trump says is he the most “militaristic” person, would be the “greatest job creator”, ever, this type of hyperbole raises the question as to its accuracy.   

In the Trump-Bondi scheme, Trump made a $25,000 contribution to Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi shortly after she announced that she was looking at investigating Trump University. Trump, days later, made the political donation not from his own pocket which would be the appropriate thing to do but from a not-for-profit organization Trump Foundation. Shortly after receiving the contribution, Bondi demurred on investigating Trump University.   The Trump Foundation is prohibited from making political contributions. Trump Foundation sent that contribution to an organization favoring Bondi’s re-election.

Things got hairy when the IRS began questioning the unlawful $25,000 contribution coming from the Trump foundation. This year, Trump paid a $2500 penalty for that transaction and personally reimbursed to the foundation $25,000.

Trump now denies any pay-off hanky-panky.  He says that Bondi has an impeccable reputation and that he never talked to Bondi.  However, he has also stated often in the past that when he contributes, he expects something in return.   

Trump has made numerous demands that Clinton release information and has accused her of being involved in the pay-to-play with the Clinton Foundation. He is correct that all records should be revealed and there are reasons to believe that the Clinton Foundation has had a cozy relationship with the US State Department under Clinton.  However, so far, there is no smoking gun pointed to Hillary Clinton nor is there any information showing that the Secretary of State office actually followed up on any request from the Clinton Foundation

In this case, however, it is Trump himself who is involved.

Trump has the audacity to accuse others while hiding his own questionable transactions.  His organization claims sloppy book keeping, yet, he had every reason to hide the contribution by hiding the source of the contribution, to Bondi. 

If Trump’s supporters really want transparency in government they should continue to insist that Clinton reveal all of her related records, but they have no standing to do so when they protect Trump.  What is good for the gander, is good for the goose. 

Elections are very important but so is our individual and collective credibility.  There are too many unanswered questions involving his tax records.  If we do not demand ethics in our politics how can we possibly demand it in our government?

We can’t.

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 September 2016 10:44
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