What we know about Donald Trump’s tax returns
New transcripts from a sweeping report from the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol revealed Donald Trump’s plans to trademark “rigged election” after his 2020 loss.
Members of Congress also released years of his tax information to the public, placing the former president’s finances and business practices in the spotlight as he faces calls to be criminally charged in connection with January 6.
Partially redacted tax returns from 2015 to 2020 amount to nearly 6,000 pages of what appears to be legal but dubious accounting strategies to keep his federal tax contributions as low as possible.
An accompanying report points to questionable claims regarding professional expenses, charitable deductions, “disguised gifts” to his adult children, and canny use of real estate write-offs in New York.
He was also revealed to have foreign bank accounts in China, the UK, Ireland, and St Maarten, and in his first year in office paid more in tax abroad than in the US.
The former president lashed out at the release, claiming it sets a precedent for “horrible things for so many people” and will cause divisions in the US to “grow far worse”.
Trump and Kellyanne Conway banned Fauci and Birx from TV appearances on Covid
Trump and one of his top White House aides personally intervened to keep his administration’s two most prominent public health experts from making television appearances to discuss Covid-19, his former White House communications director said in a sworn deposition to the House select committee investigating January 6.
FormerWhite House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin told investigators she frequently received “signal” from Trump’s campaign to ask the White House to refrain from keeping “the doctors” – meaning Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Deborah Birx — off of television as a way to “talk about coronavirus less” despite the ongoing pandemic.
Alex Woodward1 January 2023 04:00
Secret Service flagged White House visit by Proud Boys leader ahead of Jan 6
Transcripts of depositions released by the House select committee show the Secret Service notified White House leaders after Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was admitted onto the 18-acre complex for a tour.
Mr Tarrio, who is currently on trial for seditious conspiracy related to his group’s alleged role in the Capitol attack,, attended a tour of the wHite House on 12 December 2020 – the same day he vandalised a Black Lives Matter sign by setting it ablaze after stealing it from a Black church.
Alex Woodward1 January 2023 03:00
Alyssa Farah calls Kayleigh McEnany ‘a liar and an opportunist’ in Jan 6 transcripts
Former Trump aide Alyssa Farah Griffin said her one-time colleague, former press secretary and current Fox News personality Kayleigh McEnany, was a “liar” who peddled election lies because she knew it would enrich her career.
“I am a Christian woman, so I will say this; Kayleigh is a liar and an opportunist,” according to a newly released deposition transcripts from Ms Farah Griffin to the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot.
“I wish her the best, but she made – she’s a smart woman. She’s a Harvard law grad. This is not an idiot,” said Ms Farah Griffin, who went on to become a co-host of The View and a contributor to CNN.
“She knew we lost the election, but she made a calculation that she wanted to have a certain life post-Trump that required staying in his good graces,” she added. “And that was more important to her than telling the truth to the American public.”
Alex Woodward1 January 2023 02:00
Jan 6 participant Ray Epps says right-wing conspiracies ruined his life after attack
Ray Epps found himself at the centre of allegations from right-wing conspiracy theorists that he was an instigator working for a federal agency during the attack on Congress on 6 January, 2021.
A lengthy House committee interview with Mr Epps was part of another batch of testimonies released this week by the panel as it wraps up the final legs of its investigation.
In the final moments of his interview with lawmakers on the committee, an emotional Mr Epps (who himself still said he believed that antifa activists were responsible for pushing the crowd to violence) explained how a campaign of far right conspiracy theories had ruined his life in the days and months following the attack.
Alex Woodward1 January 2023 01:00
Trump spent $1m bailing out Donald Jr’s failed business in 2018, new tax returns show
In 2010, the former president’s eldest son started Titan Atlas Manufacturing, which provided cast panels for prefabricated homes.
But the company quickly ran into hard times and fell deeply into debt, prompting the former president to set up a company called D B Pace to take over.
Mr Trump’s tax returns from 2018 show that the president suffered a $1m loss bailing out his son’s beleaguered venture.
Alex Woodward1 January 2023 00:00
Donald Trump claimed zero charitable donations throughout 2020, meaning that his tax burden was not reduced at all, at least in that regard. He would still go on to pay $0 in income tax for the year in total.
If his tax returns are accurate, they would directly contradict a statement made by his chief White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, in March 2020, at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in the final full year of his four-year term.
At the time, she wrote on Twitter: “President @realDonaldTrump made a commitment to donate his salary while in office. Honoring that promise and to further protect the American people, he is donating his 2019 Q4 salary to @HHSGov to support the efforts being undertaken to confront, contain, and combat #Coronavirus.”
Alex Woodward31 December 2022 23:00
Jan 6 committee releases interactive website with findings from blockbuster investigation and sprawling report
As the House select committee prepares to wind down its work before the Republican-controlled House opens this week, the panel released an interactive website on 31 December with the findings from its sprawling report.
The report includes an “immense volume of information and testimony” from the committee’s investigation into events leading up to and surrounding the attack on the US Capitol, culminating in its referrel of criminal charges against Donald Trump to the US Department of Justice earlier this month.
The website outlines in great detail the findings from several months of depositions, thousands of documents and other material submitted to the committee.
“But there are some questions for which there are still no clear answers, even if all the facts, circumstances, and causes are brought to bear,” committee chair Bennie Thompson wrote in his introduction.
“The ‘What If?’ questions. For the good of American democracy, those questions must never again be put to the test,” he said. “So, while it’s important that this report lays out what happened, it’s just as important to focus on how to make sure that January 6th was a one-time event – to identify the ongoing threats that could lead us down that dangerous path again – with hopes and humble prayers that the committee’s work is carried on through corrective action.”
Alex Woodward31 December 2022 22:30
What we’ve discovered about Donald Trump’s tax returns
On Friday, the House Ways & Means Committee released Donald Trump’s tax returns from 2015 to 2020, the culmination of a years’-long legal battle between the former president and the committee.
The tax returns are not only for his personal finances with his wife Melania but also for his businesses. As a result, it will take time for news outlets, including The Independent, to comb through them.
Revelation include no charitable contributions in his final year as president, taxable income or losses several countries; multiple foreign bank accounts; and money from Melani’s modeling career.
Here is Eric Garcia’s rolling list of the most interesting revelations thus far.
Alex Woodward31 December 2022 22:00
Donald Trump wanted to trademark ‘rigged election’ days after losing 2020 race, Jan 6 documents reveal
Jared Kushner wanted to trademark the phrase “rigged election” as soon as possible, just days after Trump lost the 2020 election.
An email from Trump aide Dan Scavino on 9 November to the ex-president’s son-in-law and senior adviser with a request from Trump about trademarking both that phrase and “Save America PAC”. Kushner asked to get it done “ASAP”.
The next day, Trump wrote on Twitter that “more [and] more people will not accept this Rigged Election!”
He said the phrase more than 20 other times that month, including in an interview with Fox News, remarks at the White House, and on Twitter.
In the months leading up to Election Day that year, he publicly said “rigged election” more than 50 other times. While in office, he falsely claimed in public remarks and messages that the 2020 election was “rigged” against him or “stolen” more than 200 times, according to a review of his statements.
Alex Woodward31 December 2022 21:00
Did Trump break the law with his taxes?
The sheer complexity of the former property mogul’s business empire means it will take time to pore over the nearly 6,000 pages of figures in detail but what is immediately clear is that he actively pursued legal but creative accounting strategies to ensure his federal tax contributions were kept as low as possible.
While Trump paid $641,931 in federal income tax in 2015, he paid just $750 in 2016 and 2017 and none whatsoever in 2020.
He did pay almost $1m in 2018 and $133,445 in 2019 but, as a proportion of his earnings, those are small amounts.
How’d he get away with it? The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad explains:
Alex Woodward31 December 2022 20:00