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The New York Times revealed this week that at least two of President Donald Trump's foes were suspiciously targeted by the IRS for extensive and "invasive" audits.
"Among tax lawyers, the most invasive type of random audit carried out by the I.R.S. is known, only partly jokingly, as 'an autopsy without the benefit of death,'" said the report.
According to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, he too was targeted by the IRS for such an audit. Among the 2018 charges that Cohen agreed to plead guilty to was tax fraud, though he maintains that he's never cheated on his taxes.
"In 30 years, I always filed tax returns timely, never requested an extension, never been audited and paid millions in taxes," Cohen tweeted on Thursday.
The day prior, Cohen revealed that he has spent the last several years cooperating with several investigations including seven interviews with the South District of New York U.S. Attorney's Office and "roughly" ten meetings with the office of special counsel Robert Mueller. He also had three meetings with New York Attorney General Letitia James, in which he says he "voluntarily provided the NYAG with several important documents."
Trump fans are shelling out money to hear him speak — even though they know 'he doesn't need financial help'
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that former President Donald Trump is now holding campaign-style rallies — even though he isn't yet running for anything — and charging his supporters huge sums of money to just come and see him speak as part of the "American Freedom Tour."
"The fees aren’t going to Trump’s political action committee, his $100 million war chest. This event was not a Trump rally, where attendance is free," reported by Josh Dawsey, Isaac Arnsdorf, and Sarah Fowler. "Instead, it was a for-profit show, more like a rock concert. The proceeds benefit Trump personally as part of a multimillion dollar deal to speak at the events, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations."
"The program ... is the work of a longtime motivational-speaker promoter with a trail of bankruptcy filings and business disputes across the country. A Trump adviser said very little vetting was done on the organizers," said the report. "A spokesman for the tour, Republican media consultant Larry Ward, said the 2020 election inspired the new business venture. 'The tour was inspired by a nation of disappointed voters and a love for President Donald J. Trump,' he said. Ward declined to discuss Trump’s financial deal."
The article profiled Terri Owens, one Trump supporter who shelled out big bucks to see one of these performances in Memphis, Tennessee.
"At the far end of a white entrance tent, near a bus wrapped with a photo of Trump’s head on a muscular, shirtless body, were attendees who paid $55 for a pair of tickets as 'citizens,' a general admittance option. At the front, closest to the doors guarded by Secret Service agents, stood a 'presidential' tier who shelled out $3,995 each," said the report. "Owens, a 53-year-old nurse, bought a pair of VIP tickets for $800. She wasn’t clear on where the money was going — nor did she care. 'I really wanted to do my part in contributing to where he can keep doing what he’s doing, traveling around,' Owens said. 'I know he probably doesn’t need financial help by any means, but just to do my part in supporting him because I believe in what he’s doing.'"
All of this comes as Trump is mulling whether to actually declare another presidential run — with some Republican officials believing he will announce it soon, to try to take the spotlight off damning revelations coming out of the House January 6 Committee.
A Tennessee sheriff's deputy is recovering after he was accidentally shot by a fellow deputy who was trying to shoot a dog, WANE-15 reports.
The incident took place as the two deputies were standing outside a residence after responding to a call when an aggressive pit bull appeared and attacked Knox County Deputy Lydia Driver. Deputy Jordan Hurst fired his gun in an attempt to subdue the dog, but hit Driver in the leg. She was then rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.
Hurst has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
"Law Enforcement is a dangerous profession; it is unpredictable. Officers deal with people and situations the average person will never experience in their lifetime,” Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler said in a statement. “This incident is unfortunate, but we will get through it together. We are blessed to serve a community who loves and appreciates our men and women; for that, I'm grateful."
Driver is in intensive care at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, according to Knoxville News Sentinel. The pit bull was taken from the scene by Animal Control.