AuthorTopic: How About Those Trump Tax Returns  (Read 270 times)

Offline Eddie

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How About Those Trump Tax Returns
« on: December 14, 2018, 02:16:42 PM »
I hope they can find all the dirty laundry, of which there is plenty, not that it all necessarily has to do with the Presidency.  By deciding to run for President, he made himself fair game for whatever ugly truths he managed to hide all these years to be made public.. The American people deserve to see what a great guy they made their President. All the facts.

Adam Schiff’s Plans to Obliterate Trump’s Red Line
With the Democrats controlling the House, Schiff’s congressional investigation will follow the money.

By Jeffrey Toobin

“It’s up to Congress to tell the story of what happened,” Schiff says.Photograph by David Williams / Redux for The New Yorker
President Trump said some time ago that he believes his personal finances should be off limits to investigators. In an interview with the Times in July, 2017, he asserted that if Robert Mueller, the special counsel, sought to investigate the Trump family’s business dealings he would be crossing a “red line.” When, later that year, several news reports suggested that Mueller had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for records relating to Trump’s businesses, the President reportedly told members of his staff that he wanted to fire Mueller in response. It was never confirmed whether Mueller had actually subpoenaed Deutsche Bank, but the President’s aversion to the scrutiny of his business interests caught the attention of Representative Adam Schiff, who will become the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence next year. On a recent weekend, at a busy restaurant in downtown Burbank, in the heart of his congressional district, Schiff talked about his plans for conducting an investigation that will be parallel to Mueller’s, probing Trump’s connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other places around the world. As Schiff described his approach, it became clear that he wasn’t just planning to cross Trump’s red line—he intended to obliterate it.

“Our role is not the same as Bob Mueller’s,” Schiff told me, over a vegan burger. (He changed his eating habits a few years ago, in order to lower his cholesterol.) The job of prosecutors like Mueller is to identify and prosecute crimes, not necessarily to inform and educate the public. Congressional committees, like the one Schiff will soon lead, are supposed to monitor the executive branch and expose wrongdoing. Mueller is supposed to file a report on his findings, but, in keeping with the regulations for the office of the special counsel, it will be up to his supervisor in the Justice Department, who is now Matthew Whitaker, the acting Attorney General, to determine whether Mueller’s report is made public. Schiff has his own agenda for areas to investigate. “The one that has always concerned me is the financial issues, which obviously have come much to the fore this week,” he said. Shortly before Schiff and I spoke, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his role in the negotiations for building a Trump tower in Moscow. Cohen had said earlier that these discussions ended in January, 2016, but he admitted in court that he had been negotiating with Russian officials, and keeping Trump apprised, through the first half of 2016, during the Republican Presidential primaries. Trump has denied that he was doing business with the Russians during this period.

Schiff went on, “At the end of the day, what should concern us most is anything that can have a continuing impact on the foreign policy and national-security policy of the United States, and, if the Russians were laundering money for the Trump Organization, that would be totally compromising.” Schiff hypothesizes that Trump went beyond using his campaign and the Presidency as a vehicle for advancing his business interests, speculating that he may have shaped policy with an eye to expanding his fortune. “There’s a whole constellation of issues where that is essentially the center of gravity,” Schiff said. “Obviously, that issue is implicated in efforts to build Trump Tower in Moscow. It’s implicated in the money that Trump is bragging he was getting from the Saudis. And why shouldn’t he love the Saudis? He said he was making so much money from them.” As the Washington Post has reported, Trump has sold a superyacht and a hotel to a Saudi prince, a $4.5-million apartment near the United Nations to the Saudi government, and many other apartments to Saudi nationals, and, since Trump became President, his hotels in New York and Chicago have seen significant increases in bookings from Saudi visitors. In a break with the Republican congressional leadership, Trump refuses to take action against Saudi Arabia, notwithstanding substantial evidence that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and the putative head of state, directed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who lived in the United States.

Schiff also pointed out that Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, met with the C.E.O. of a state-owned Russian bank in December, 2016, and that, the following month, Erik Prince, an informal adviser to the Trump campaign, met with the leader of a Russian sovereign-wealth fund in the Seychelles, an East African archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean. “The American people have a right to know that their President is working on their behalf, not his family’s financial interests,” Schiff said. “Right now, I don’t think any of us can have the confidence that that’s the case.” All of these subjects, Schiff averred, were fair game for investigation by the committee that he will soon chair.

As the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, Schiff has directed a staff of eleven. As the chairman, he will direct twenty-five, some of whom will be devoted to the Russia investigation. “We’ve been deluged with résumés,” Schiff said. It is now clear that during the campaign, when Trump was advocating the removal of sanctions on Russia, he was privately trying to make money in Moscow in a deal that may have required Putin’s help. Schiff wants to know: “Is that why Trump is so pro-Russian? Is his financial interest guiding his foreign policy?” Schiff thinks the answer to those questions may be found in the records of Deutsche Bank, which has been fined hundreds of millions of dollars for laundering money for Russia, and was reportedly the only bank willing to do business with Trump in the nineteen-nineties, when major Wall Street firms declined to loan him money after a series of failed business ventures. “We are going to be looking at the issue of possible money laundering by the Trump Organization, and Deutsche Bank is one obvious place to start,” Schiff added.

Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, Schiff has been a ubiquitous presence on television, speaking about matters related to the Russia investigation. “The voice that Adam gives to these issues is one that is calming, logical, linear, measured but forceful,” Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader and likely the new Speaker of the House, told me. “I have complete confidence in him to be very strategic in how he returns the Intelligence Committee to a bipartisan arena, without doing what Devin Nunes did as chairman of the committee, which I thought bordered on the criminal.” The government watchdog Campaign for Accountability has filed complaints against Nunes for leaking confidential information from the ongoing Russia investigation. (Nunes’s office denies these accusations as “discredited fake news stories.”)

Schiff repeatedly chastised the Republicans on his committee, led by Nunes, for their refusal to conduct a thorough investigation into Trump’s possible misdeeds, and he defended Mueller’s efforts to impose some accountability for the issues that fall within the special counsel’s purview. With the Democrats now in control of the House of Representatives, Schiff’s responsibilities as chair of the committee will present both great opportunities and significant peril. Schiff will no longer be able to blame the Republicans for wasting time. It’s his investigation now, and he’s planning to heed the advice, familiar to viewers of the movie version of “All the President’s Men,” to “follow the money.”

A few years after Schiff was first elected to the House, in 2000, he and his wife, Eve, who had been living in his district in California, enrolled their two children in school in the Washington suburbs, so that Schiff could spend more time with his family. Since then, he has spent every other weekend in his district, which includes Hollywood and parts of the San Fernando Valley. On a recent Sunday, he spoke at a church service commemorating World aids Day, lit a Christmas tree at a street festival, and viewed an exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, where the tour guide told him that a new documentary about the Sobibór concentration camp was “getting Oscar buzz.” Schiff then went to light the candles on an oversized menorah in front of a Mr. Luggage store at a mall in Burbank, where a man named David Nathan Schwartz introduced himself. They discovered that they had been in the same third-grade class, in Framingham, Massachusetts. Later, recalling third grade, Schiff told me, “That was the last time that someone called me Adam Shit. I think the kid’s mother actually washed his mouth out with soap.”

He was referring to an incident last month, when the President tweeted, “So funny to see little Adam Schitt (D-CA) talking about the fact that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was not approved by the Senate, but not mentioning the fact that Bob Mueller (who is highly conflicted) was not approved by the Senate!” (In fact, there is no requirement for Mueller, who was named to his post by Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, to be confirmed by the Senate.) Schiff has been a frequent target of Trump, who has called him “sleazy,” a “leaker,” and “little.” Schiff is not especially short or slight, but he does appear diminutive. His expression is often neutral, and his countenance is unaffected by his periodic visits to the California sunshine; he could pass for someone in his late thirties or his early sixties. (He’s fifty-eight.) Schiff’s constituents at Disney, DreamWorks, and Paramount would probably cast him as an accountant. He seems to cultivate this blandness of affect to convey that he deals in facts, eschews drama, and tells the truth. As he often mentions, he spent half a dozen years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a job that trained him in the presentation of evidence. Schiff told me, “Trump has created a constituency for people who are not running around with their hair on fire.”

« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 02:20:04 PM by Eddie »
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Offline RE

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Re: How About Those Trump Tax Returns
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 02:39:05 PM »
I hope they can find all the dirty laundry, of which there is plenty, not that it all necessarily has to do with the Presidency.  By deciding to run for President, he made himself fair game for whatever ugly truths he managed to hide all these years to be made public.. The American people deserve to see what a great guy they made their President. All the facts.

Adam Schiff’s Plans to Obliterate Trump’s Red Line
With the Democrats controlling the House, Schiff’s congressional investigation will follow the money.

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