This post has been updated since it was originally published to include recent facts
We’ve already heard that Trump’s third bid for the presidency isn’t getting off to the best start, as he is losing so much support from the people he relied on so heavily back in 2016 when he won the presidency. However, he seems to have bigger things to worry about now, as it’s just been revealed that the Supreme Court has agreed to release his tax returns after he fought for years to block them – and as you can imagine, he is *not* happy!
Donald Trump’s Tax Returns Will Finally Be Released
In the latest blow to Trump, the Supreme Court rejected the twice-impeached former president’s request to block the treasury department from turning over the files that he had famously refused to release since he first ran for office. (He actually became the first president in 40 years to not release his taxes after announcing his first presidential run!) The House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee has battled for three years and will finally have access to six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses, something that he has tried to avoid for a long time! He must have something to hide, and given what came out from his former CFO’s testimony earlier this month, we would not be surprised!
Interestingly, the congressional committee is currently led by a Democratic party chair, congressman Richard Neal; however, the new Congress is being sworn in in January with a Republican majority and committee chairs will be allocated after the midterm elections. Right now, there are 17 Republicans on the committee, but this could be boosted to 25 if the eight seats up for grabs all go to Republicans. Will Trump be hoping that a Republican led committee will be more lenient on him?
Trump’s Legal Battle Up To Now
The treasury department had previously refused to provide the tax records during Trump’s time in office; former Secretary Steve Mnuchin had argued that the Democrats were seeking the files for partisan reasons, and so withheld the documents. A lawsuit followed and Trump has been fighting the matter in court ever since. The request for his files was renewed after Joe Biden’s election, with the committee seeking Trump’s tax returns and additional information from 2015 to 2020, and the White House decided the request was valid and that the treasury should comply.
Trump attempted to stop the handover of the files in court, but Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr managed to obtain copies of his personal and business tax records as part of a criminal investigation. This case also went to the Supreme Court, with Trump arguing that he had immunity as president; this was also rejected!
Will Trump Be Prosecuted For His Tax Activity?
Now that the treasury department has clearance to provide Trump’s tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee, the question on everyone’s lips will surely be: is Trump going to be prosecuted? Only time will tell! The New York Times had already published a damning report on Trump’s taxes going back almost 20 years in 2020 showing that the former POTUS barely paid any federal income tax, but he has not faced any legal consequences and instead boasts that indulging in tax avoidance is just smart! Maybe the committee will find more conclusive evidence to act on, but even so, with only a few weeks of congressional business left this year it’s unclear what Democrats on the committee will be able to accomplish.
What Does Trump Have To Say?
As expected, the former president did have something to say on the matter, and slammed the Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 23rd on his social media platform, Truth Social.
"Why would anybody be surprised that the Supreme Court has ruled against me, they always do!" he wrote. "It is unprecedented to be handing over Tax Returns, and it creates terrible precedent for future Presidents," he added, before going after current President Joe Biden. "Has Joe Biden paid taxes on all of the money he made illegally from Hunter and beyond? The Supreme Court has lost its honor, prestige, and standing, and has become nothing more than a political body, with our Country paying the price. They refused to even look at the Election Hoax of 2020. Shame on them!"
Trump Org. Accountant Testifies in People v Trump Organization Case
Things are going from bad to worse for Trump, as Donald Bender of Mazars USA LLP – an accountant who handled the tax returns of some Trump Organization executives, including Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges and recently testified for the prosecution in the hopes of getting a more lenient sentence – was the first defense witness in the tax fraud trial of two of the former president’s companies, Trump Payroll Corp. and Trump Corp.
Trump Reportedly Lost $900M In 2 Years
Bender's testimony in the People v. Trump Organization case was the first public confirmation from a professional who saw or helped to prepare Trump’s tax returns, and he told a jury that Trump reported a total of $900M in operating losses over two years.
Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked Bender, "Do you recall in 2010 that Donald Trump had almost $200 million in losses?" to which he replied, "Yes." She also asked him, "And in 2009, did Donald Trump have almost $700 million in losses?" to which he replied, "That sounds about right."
Bender worked as the company’s outside accountant for around 35 years, but the defense lawyers tried to highlight that he was unaware of Weisselberg's alleged tax fraud, which included him getting a rent-free apartment, a luxury car, and his grandchildren's school fees paid for.
Bender said that last year was the first time he had seen spreadsheets that showed that $1M in annual bonuses was paid to executives like Weisselberg, claiming they were independent contractors, when they were shown to him by prosecutors. When asked how he would have reacted if he saw them at the time, Bender said: "I probably would’ve had a heart attack. I would be pretty concerned, that they were reducing their income by these amounts."