Trump's finances were never seriously reviewed by the government because he was 'viewed as a clown': ex-US Attorney
President Donald Trump is doubling down on his latest threats to close all or part of the US border with Mexico. (AFP / Nicholas Kamm)

On Saturday, MSNBC host Joy Reid broke down the mounting evidence that Trump has dodged federal taxes and concealed massive business losses, and asked former U.S. attorney and Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman why such a prominent businessman with so many red flags was not seriously looked into for fraud before now.

"You used to prosecute white collar crime," said Reid.

"Right, and I also prosecuted a lot of tax cases, including starting with Richard Nixon's tax case," said Akerman.

"How did he escape the consequences of his and his father's tax cheating, bilking people, refusing to pay people — how did he get away with that for all these years?"

"I just don't think it was on the radar," said  Akerman. "I was in the U.S. attorney's office."

"He was on TV!" said Reid incredulously.

"Yeah, but he wasn't on the radar," said Akerman. "They viewed him as a clown. He wasn't viewed as somebody who was connected with organized crime necessarily, even though he was, it turns out. He wasn't somebody who people looked at thinking that there was a crime here. I was in the U.S. attorney's office during some of this stuff and I never heard his name mentioned once. Now you look at what you see in the rearview mirror, and there is just series of criminal activities related to tax fraud, overvaluing, all of the things Michael Cohen talked about."

"If I were on the Judiciary Committee, I'd get all those tax returns, I'd get all of his financial statements submitted to banks," said Akerman. "I think what you're going to find is that he cheated on his taxes, he cheated the banks, and he did exactly what Paul Manafort did and was convicted of, and is now spending seven and a half years in jail for."

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