MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday explained the extreme lengths President Donald Trump has gone through in an effort to keep his financial information and tax returns from the American people.
“The Rachel Maddow Show” host explained how former special counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress that he did not pursue an investigation of Trump’s finances and any potential compromise or illegality that may have occurred.
“A serious potential compromise involving the president of the United States and a hostile foreign power that inexplicably tried to elect him, I mean, that would be important to know about,” Maddow noted. “But we now know Mueller and his team didn’t go there, didn’t look at it.”
“Having had that clarification from Mueller about what his team didn’t do, Democrats in Congress promptly said that, oh, well, if Mueller didn’t do this, they will do it. And now they are doing it,” she noted. “And the president, of course, has been pulling out all the stops to do anything and everything that he can to block that, to try to stop his financial records and his banking records and his tax records from being handed over and examined.”
“I mean, the president literally hired a whole new legal team just to fight to keep his finances secret, just to keep his taxes and his banking records and his financial records under wrap,” she explained. “And that team, that’s all they’re working on for the president. They have been really racking up the billable hours.”
“I’m not even sure this is a complete list, but off the top of my head, we know the president has sued New York state to try to keep his tax returns and financial records secret. Just this past week, the president has sued the state of California to try to keep his tax returns secret. The president has sued the Ways and Means Committee in the House to try to keep his tax returns secret. The president has sued the chairman of the Oversight Committee to try to keep his tax returns and financial records secret,” she recounted. “He’s even sued his own accounting firm and his own bank and a whole second bank — all to try to keep his tax returns and financial records secret. He’s sparing no expense here, that is a lot of lawsuits.”
“But whether or not he’s going to win every single one of those cases — and statistically speaking that might be difficult — it’s possible, we now know, that none of those lawsuits, in the end, may matter the way the president wants them to matter. Because today The Wall Street Journal reports, even if the president won every single one of those myriad lawsuits he filed trying to keep secret his taxes and financial records, those materials he’s trying to keep secret might have already flown the coop, they might already be out there,” Maddow explained.
She read some quotes from the story.
“Major Wall Street banks have given congressional committees investigating President Trump thousands of pages of documents related to Russians who may have had dealings with Mr. Trump, his family or his business, people familiar with the congressional probes said,” The Journal reported. “Some banks are also giving documents related to Mr. Trump’s business, the Trump Organization, to New York state investigators, people familiar with the New York investigation said.”
“Wall Street firms including Bank of America Corp. , Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG , JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. have recently provided the documents to congressional investigators, according to people familiar with those probes,” the newspaper reported.
Maddow then broke down the implications of the news.
“And again, what this Wall Street Journal report is saying today is not just that congressional committees and some states are seeking these materials about the president’s finances from major banks. What this report from The Wall Street Journal today says, is that they sought them and they’re now getting them. And this includes information on loans and mortgages and applications for financing and also reportedly specifically includes information on Russian businesspeople potentially connected to the president and his businesses,” she explained.
“Whatever is happening within the president’s financial history, whatever is happening that is evident in his banking and financial and tax records that he seems to be so freaked out about, that he seems to be willing to go to any lengths and any expense to try to keep secret, it appears those records by and large are not staying secret,” Maddow concluded. “That horse is on its way out of the barn and mostly out.”