Politics - News Analysis
Former Judge Ponders Whether Ivanka Will Be ‘Forced’ to Be the ‘Snitch’ and Rat Out Her Father
Most people are familiar with the critical details in this matter. Summed up very simply for those that don’t, Prior to her dad’s presidency, Ivanka received $747,622 in what was labeled in the Trump organization as “consulting fees.” Obviously, the Trump Organization can pay Ivanka $747 million in consulting fees if it wants. That is not the issue. The problem is that Ivanka is a member of the Trump organization.
An organization that pays one of its members highly inflated “consulting fees” is almost surely a felony. It is done to decrease income to the organization itself and it can write it off on its taxes as an “expense.” It is also a means to pay Ivanka without having to match taxes on Ivanka’s salary. In other words, rather than having it cost the organization to pay one of its employees, it can make money by paying her in consulting fees. Thus it is a crime, one used by the mob all the time.
Elura Nanos wrote in a recent column for the Law & Crime website, and as a former New York City prosecutor said:
This could be a problem, as Ms. Trump was an executive officer both of the company making the payment and the company doing the consulting. When a key person is on both sides of such a transaction, tax deductions could be illegal if the payments were inflated.”
This attorney begs to differ and believes it is illegal in all contexts other than reasonable business expenses. But it is a non-issue because $747,000 for consulting fees to Ivanka is inflated, in just about anyone’s reasonable opinion.
Regardless, the point is that both the manager of the organization that made the decision (Donald, surely) and the person receiving the payments could be facing a felony, on paper (meaning almost impossible to disprove certain elements) and felonies can very much interrupt lifestyles. If it were $7,47o, then maybe one is in the slap on the wrist territory. When one gets to the $74,000 area, that’s getting to where a plea may keep one out of prison with a big fine – but you’d still get your felony. But $747,000 is clear trouble, real trouble.
And it’s probably best to keep in mind that this is just the part that stuck out in the taxes in New York’s possession. The presumption is there is might be more.
Ivanka responded by simply rage tweeting, as one might expect, and a very very bad idea:
“This is harassment pure and simple. This ‘inquiry’ by NYC democrats is 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage. They know very well that there’s nothing here and that there was no tax benefit whatsoever. These politicians are simply ruthless.”
That is incorrect. The correct answer is: “Our business was so far flung and had so many moving parts that it’s possible an error might have been made somewhere, although I do not believe that is an error. But it would not surprise me if every number didn’t line up on the thousands of pages in our tax documents. If there is a problem someday it will be corrected.
But Ivanka doesn’t do correct answers. Thus it is where one gets to the point where the rage tweeting “girl” meets the good cop – bad cop and the “all business, no-nonsense prosecutor. And this is where a former judge wonders if, with her freedom on the line – faced with real prison time, does she turn state’s evidence and tell the truth about who authorized the payment. (Dad*)
*Donald, almost for sure, this wasn’t some huge organization. And thus it is that the question will have to be asked, and it is brought to us by retired judge Bill Blum.
What this means for Ivanka remains to be seen. She has not yet been formally accused of committing a crime, or officially been named as a target of any investigation. Moreover, even if she is eventually indicted, everyone—even a Trump—is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Still, as the clock ticks down on the Trump presidency, the first daughter may well be advised to ponder whether her legal interests and those of her father have diverged to the point where it would be better to cooperate with the authorities, fess up, and ultimately turn state’s evidence.
Stay tuned. This story is just beginning.
One might say a lot of stories are just beginning because we haven’t even talked about Russia yet and the famed statement made years ago by her idiot younger brother: “Well, that’s because we don’t use American banks, we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia … There are going to be A LOT of questions about who knew what and when about possible money laundering. There will be a lot of questions about whose interests collide with whose.
It is true, though – this is just the beginning.
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