Ex-Watergate prosecutor predicts Trump will be charged for tax evasion after he leaves office
Nick Akerman, who served on the prosecution team during the 1970s Watergate investigation, said Tuesday he believed President Trump would likely face tax fraud charges upon leaving the White House.
Akerman’s comments came after The New York Times released a bombshell report on Sunday revealing a look into Trump’s finances. The report stated that Trump was able to avoid paying taxes 10 of the 15 years preceding the 2016 election.
Akerman noted that a New York Times report referenced “avoidance” in the headline.
“It looks like Trump has done a whole series of activities that could qualify as tax fraud, not tax avoidance. This is a very important distinction,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
“Tax avoidance is simply taking the tax code and getting the most deductions you can get under the code that is perfectly legal. Tax fraud, however, is lying about what your income was, lying about what your deductions are, and there’s a couple of items that just stand out in that report from the New York Times that really appear to go beyond tax avoidance.”
Akerman pointed to the Times’s reporting that Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, was paid $747,622 in consulting fees.
“There is no legitimate reason for her to get those consulting fees since she was being paid already as a Trump employee,” he said.
Ex-Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman says the NYT’s report on Trump’s taxes shows that both he and his daughter, Ivanka could face legal liabilities. “The only thing saving him at this point is the Department of Justice’s guideline that says you can’t indict a sitting president.” pic.twitter.com/4YI1qDhI5g
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) September 28, 2020
“The only possible reason for doing this was to somehow move money around so that it wouldn’t be taxed to Donald Trump but would in effect go on Ivanka Trump’s tax return, who probably had certain losses that she could take against it,” he added.
“So in the end, the government gets zero dollars.”
Trump has attacked the Times’s reporting and defended his financial practices but did not dispute any specific parts of the reporting.
In addition to the years Trump paid no income tax, the report found he paid $750 in income tax in 2016 and 2017.