Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston explained the two main reasons President Donald Trump is terrified of his tax returns.
Johnston laid out his theory during in an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews.
The host noted Johnston’s recent article pointing out that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin could go to prison for five years for not turning over Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee chair.
“David, tell us what you can about — based upon your having seen one of Trump’s tax returns, I think it was 2005, what is he most sensitive to about people like us knowing … what does he want to keep secret?” Matthews asked.
“Well, Chris, there isn’t now and there never has been any evidence, verifiable evidence, Donald is a billionaire. He’s not a billionaire,” Johnston replied. “That’s one thing he’s worried about.”
Johnston is the author of the 2016 book The Making of Donald Trump and the 2018 book It’s Even Worse Than You Think; What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.
“Secondly, he’s worried that an audit will show tax cheating,” he continued.
“Let’s not forget, Donald was tried twice for tax fraud, civil tax fraud, and was found in both cases to have engaged in fraud,” he reminded. “He was excoriated by the judges in both cases.”
“His own tax lawyer testified against him,” he continued. “His tax lawyer said, ‘That’s my signature on the tax return, but I did not prepare that tax return.’ That’s a very strong badge of fraud.”
“And you notice that his sister, Maryann Trump Barry, as soon as she came under investigation by judicial authorities, because she’s a federal judge, as a tax cheat, resigned,” he added.
‘Where is Mike Pompeo?’ MSNBC’s Mika hammers secretary of state over damning Ukraine testimony
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski hammered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for standing by while President Donald Trump corrupted the department he was confirmed by Congress to oversee.
The "Morning Joe" co-host said former Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor had delivered damning testimony in the impeachment inquiry against Trump, and Brzezinski and her panelists agreed the secretary of state must answer for his actions in the scheme to pressure a foreign ally to investigate Joe Biden.
"The level of detail that is in here speaks to his note-taking and his collection of documents because he knew something wasn't right," said co-host Willie Geist, "and he wanted to have a paper trail to explain in this very moment (Tuesday), but it does speak to, does it not, the sloppiness or the arrogance, or some combination of this, administration of this shadow foreign policy that they thought they could roll over Bill Taylor and he just wouldn't say anything."
Team Trump admits holding back billions for Puerto Rico disaster recovery
Trump administration officials have admitted that last summer they knowingly withheld billions of dollars Congress appropriated to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. House Democrats say withholding the relief money violates the law.
Federal law requires that our government help Americans hit by natural disasters. But two Housing and Urban Development officials acknowledged at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Oct. 17 that HUD blocked the Puerto Rico relief funds.
The HUD delay meant the island missed a deadline to apply for billions of dollars in disaster relief funds, raising doubts about when, if ever, the money will flow to the island devasted in September 2017 by the Category 5 hurricane.
US to send top delegation to Saudi event: media
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and presidential adviser Jared Kushner will lead an American delegation to Saudi Arabia's annual financial conference, US media reported Tuesday, after widespread boycotts of last year's event in protest at the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi reporter Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was strangled and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
Dozens of top global officials and business leaders boycotted last year's Future Investment Initiative (FII), a lavish event dubbed "Davos in the desert", as international outrage over Khashoggi's killing peaked.