A former assistant U.S. Attorney explained how a bombshell investigative report published by the New York Times could spell big trouble for President Donald Trump and his family.
Daniel Goldman, an MSNBC contributor and former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the statute of limitations had run out for possible tax fraud — but he said the president might not be off the hook.
“You guys have really pinpointed some of the hypocrisy of Donald Trump being a self-made man on the campaign trail, whereas in reality his father was his lifeline for all of his poor business dealings,” Goldman said. “But from a legal perspective you see overinflated invoices, like you would have a contractor give an invoice to a subcontractor and over-inflate the work so that they could get a kickback.”
“That’s essentially what some of the allegations are,” he added. “There are bogus loans — that is a hallmark of fraud, where you say, ‘I will give you a loan,’ and then it just is never paid back, it’s not actually a loan.”
Fred Trump reportedly dumped $3.3 million in casino chips to bail out his son, and the family also allegedly played games with their tax filings.
“There are different representations of the value of his properties in official filings,” Goldman said. “So they undervalue it when it’s convenient and then they overvalue the same property when it’s convenient, as well, and that is — that’s another hallmark of fraud.”
Although the statute of limitations has run out for the alleged crimes uncovered by Times reporters, but Goldman said the president might eventually be required to pay millions in back taxes.
“None of this can be charged criminally because it’s statute of limitations, but certainly the IRS could go back and look at it from a civil perspective,” Goldman said.
Trump’s sister, federal Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, was heavily implicated in the Times report, and Goldman said she could face punishment for her alleged role in fraud.
“The only way that a judge can be removed is technically through impeachment, but if there is misconduct by Maryanne Trump — and we don’t know at all whether there is at this point — then it would be referred to a judicial committee to look into it in order to assess it,” Goldman said.