It goes without saying that if any other president in US history was found to have an extensive history of lying about their financial wealth, tax fraud and tax evasion, they would be impeached and removed from office.
In all likelihood, they would never have become president in the first place.
But not so with Donald J. Trump, a president who appears to be able to lie, cheat and con with little to no consequence. According to an extensive investigation by the New York Times, contrary to his proclamation that he is a self made billionaire, Trump inherited a vast fortune from his parents and made considerable efforts to fraudulently hide it from the authorities:
The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.
Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.
These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.
The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.
To be clear about this, this means Trump has stolen money from the federal government. While Trump may not face criminal prosecution for his role in tax fraud due to the crimes being past the statute of limitations in New York, according to the Times, he could face civil fines.
Unsurprisingly, Trump's legal team are denying the charges laid out in the investigation, calling the report "100 percent false" and "defamatory". Trump tweeted the following:
What Trump is talking about or where he gets the "97%" number on the paper's fake stories about him is anyone's guess, but it is safe to say he isn't too worried about it. Why? Because as far as Republicans controlling the House and the Senate are concerned, if Trump denies the charges, nothing can be done about it. The spineless cowards controlling Congress understand that their insane base couldn't care less about Trump's criminal behavior. Trump supporters believe the president when he says the Times is lying, so the GOP must accordingly toe the line.
Conservative commentators like to claim that liberals have 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' and are in a perpetual state of outrage when it comes to anything Trump related. The truth is however, that it would be impossible for the left to be outraged enough by the president. The sheer volume of crimes he has committed against the United States and common human decency boggles the mind. It is largely a matter of preserving one's sanity when it comes to channeling the rage he induces, otherwise it would be hard to function on a day to day basis.
Few journalists enjoy covering the Trump administration for obvious reasons. It is a relentless grind that often yields no results. The Times article for example, will have little to no real world ramifications. As story after story piles up about Trump's connections to Russia, his attempts to obstruct justice, his history of sexual assault, his lies about his finance, etc, etc, his fan base retreats ever further into fantasy world where none of it is true.
Trump is protected by a bubble of insanity, and the only way to make him feel the effects of his disgraceful behavior is to ensure the much vaunted Blue Wave in November turns into a Blue Tsunami. If the Democrats regain control of the House, they can examine his tax returns without his consent, and release them to the public. If they take the Senate too, then the chances of impeachment begin to look a lot more promising.