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Obscure law would allow Trump’s billionaire pals to skip out on millions in taxes if they join his cabinet

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Beyond the prestige of holding a top position in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration is an extra bonus for what is shaping up to be the richest cabinet ever.

According to the Washington Post, wealthy cabinet members may be in line to duck out on paying hundreds of million dollars in federal taxes on capital gains.

While Republican President Abraham Lincoln may have had his “team of rivals,” Trump’s early cabinet choices are shaping up to a “band of billionaires.” Those rich folks will be given the opportunity to shape U.S. policy in ways that help out the wealthiest one percent — while making out pretty well for themselves.

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Buried deep in Section 2634 of federal ethics laws is a tax avoidance maneuver called a “certificate of divestiture,” that allows incoming cabinet picks to sell off billions of dollars in assets — in order to avoid future conflicts of interest — much of them tax-free.

When former President George W. Bush selected Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson top serve as his treasury secretary, Paulson sold off approximately a half a billion dollars’ worth of Goldman stock and avoided what might have totaled over $200 million in capital gains taxes.

According to Robert Lenhard, a campaign-finance lawyer and former FEC chairman, the law was put in place out of fairness to potential administration picks.

“If you suddenly had to absorb the capital-gains taxes of substantial parts of your holdings, it would be a real body blow to some people financially,” he explained. “I just think of it as an act of fairness for those people entering public service.”

Depending on the position, not all cabinet secretaries will be asked to divest themselves of holdings that might give rise to questions of conflicts of interest, but those who want to take advantage on the law could recognize substantial savings, including possible education secretary, Betsy DeVos, whose family fortune is estimated at approximately $5 billion.

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Trump supporter complains about being socially toxic: ‘People unfriend you’

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Fox News anchor Jeanine Pirro on Saturday complained about being judged by the content of her character.

"People unfriend you!' Pirro complained. "They don't want you to be a -- they don't want to communicate with you."

"People I've had at my wedding don't talk -- my children's weddings actually, they don't talk to me anymore," she explained.

"It's not usually the right or the left, I mean, the intolerance is on the left," she argued.

The longtime Trump friend was harshly criticized for her complaints. Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1282132522332282880

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Trump disappointed conservative media isn’t praising him enough for letting Roger Stone walk: report

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President Donald Trump has been disappointed in right-wing media for not giving him more credit for pardoning longtime advisor Roger Stone.

"A senior administration official said there were serious divisions among Trump’s aides and allies over Stone’s case, with some cautioning that keeping him out of prison could be politically risky. Among those opposed was Attorney General William P. Barr, who called the prosecution 'righteous' in an interview Wednesday with ABC News, the official said, adding that those pushing Trump to show loyalty to Stone included Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is close to the president," The Washington Post reported Saturday.

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2020 Election

Lincoln Project takes on the ‘Trump crime spree’ in new ad: ‘It’s a billion-dollar criminal enterprise’

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Disgruntled former top Republican strategists took on President Donald Trump's "law and order" message in a new 2020 video posted on Saturday.

The ad, by the Lincoln Project, recounts how many top former Trump officials have been convicted of felonies.

"It's not a campaign, it's a billion-dollar criminal enterprise," the narrator begins.

The ad noted the criminal convictions of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Mike Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone.

"Nixon was bad, Trump is worse," the narrator declares.

"Trump is the most corrupt president in U.S. history. There's only one way to end the Trump crime spree -- throw him and his crooks out of office," the ad concludes.

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