Conservative Washington Post writer Max Boot noted that the recent revelations about President Donald Trump's taxes expose the real reason that he's terrified to leave office.
Writing Monday, Boot began by admitting that Hillary Clinton was right all along. It's one of many things she warned of in the 2016 election that went ignored by the Republican Party and the majority of voters in Rust Belt states.
"He managed to pay no federal income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — and only $750 in 2016 and 2017 — by claiming vast losses from his business empire," Boot said, citing the New York Times report. "That $750 figure is a killer because it’s a number that middle-class Americans can understand. As a just-released Biden campaign ad points out, that’s far less than the taxes paid by the average teacher, nurse or firefighter."
Trump likely didn't want to see his taxes revealed because it obliterates his carefully crafted image that he's a genius businessman. He's built his "Apprentice" empire on a lie and profited handsomely on it. That likely won't help him if he reenters society on January 20, 2021.
"The Times article supports the assumption that Trump ran for president in 2015 — a race he never expected to win — to revive his flagging fortunes," Boot also noted.
It confirms what his former lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress in 2019: “Mr. Trump would often say this campaign was going to be the greatest infomercial in political history. . . . The campaign for him was always a marketing opportunity.”
Winning the election gave Trump the opportunity to increase club fees to those seeking to buy influence or gain access to the president at Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster. Boot cited the recent CREW report that Trump has at over 3,400 conflicts of interest, which calculates to about two per day in office.
While Republicans have turned a blind eye to the scam, Congress has long fought subpoenas in court about violations in the emoluments clause in the Constitution. It's unknown if that investigation will continue after Trump is out of office.
Trump's other problem is that he has nearly $500 million in loans and debt and those bills are coming due in the next four years. So, if Trump is reelected in November, he could end up being the first president in history to be foreclosed on. To make matters worse, such a huge amount of debt is a serious problem for the security of the United States.
Boot cited former FBI agent Josh Campbell, who explained such a huge amount of debt “disqualifies most people from obtaining a government security clearance,” because the U.S. government “views this as a vulnerability and a point of leverage for foreign adversaries seeking access to classified information.”
While mentions of Russia would primarily come from Trump Organization documents and not Trump's personal information, one Russia connection was that Trump made an astounding $2.3 million for holding the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. The money came from the Agalarov family, which Boot noted is close to Russia's Vladimir Putin, "and which lost $10 million on the transaction."
It's a reminder, Boot explained, that special counsel Robert Mueller wouldn't look into Trump's finances when he was investigating ties between the president and Russia. It's the reason former director of national intelligence Dan Coats told Bob Woodward, "Putin has something on Trump."
Then there's the matter of possible personal tax fraud. Currently, Trump serves as the "boss" of the head of the Internal Revenue Service, so there's no chance that the IRS is going to do anything to investigate Trump's taxes while he's in office. But under a new administration, and a new Congress, they might have the funding to be able to finally challenge some of the top one percent of taxpayers who refuse to pay their fair share, including Trump.
"Will any of it matter?" asked Boot. "It’s true that the Times’s revelations are unlikely to move Trump’s devoted supporters to vote for Joe Biden. But they do disrupt Trump’s ability to get his message across with only 36 days left in an election that he is losing."
He closed by speculating that Trump is desperate to stay in office "because he needs to profit from the presidency — and to avoid the risk of prosecution for tax fraud and other possible crimes."