Friday, November 26

Trump’s kids seem likely to turn on their father, and I suspect Ivanka will go first | Arwa mahdawi

NorthNothing in life is certain except death and rich people jumping through complicated hoops to avoid paying taxes. In case you need something more compelling about the fiscal side of that, check out the Trumps’ latest tribulations.

On Thursday, the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, were charged with a “sweeping and audacious illegal payment plan” of tax-related offenses. While that may sound juicy, it’s more boring (but no less torturous) when you delve into the 15-count indictment. There is no smoking gun, just lots of details about the company’s benefits, like paying school fees and rents that were not reported correctly. Lots of dirty tricks that add up to massive and possibly illegal tax savings.

However, don’t mistake a lack of style for a lack of substance. The devil, and the possible downfall of Donald Trump, is in the details. While Trump (who has yet to face criminal charges) is unlikely to go to jail imminently, Thursday’s indictment could well mark the beginning of the end of his business empire. That end will come sooner rather than later if Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump family for nearly 50 years, decides to turn against Trump and cooperate with the investigation. So far, Weisselberg seems loyal, but that could always change. It’s worth noting that Weisselberg’s family is not as pro-Trump as he is. Jennifer weisselberg, his ex-daughter-in-law, has delivered numerous financial documents regarding her ex-husband, who was also an employee of the Trump Organization.

Do you think the Weisselbergs sound dysfunctional? Wait until the Trumps start to confront each other. It could be any day. On Thursday, Mary Trump, Donald’s estranged niece, told cable news anchor Rachel Maddow who believes that the adult children of the former president will not think twice about sacrificing their father to save themselves. “Your relationship with them, and your relationship with him, is completely transactional and conditional,” he said. “They are not going to risk anything for him, just as he would not risk anything for them.”

Trump’s sons, to be clear, have yet to be charged with anything. However, they have a lot to worry about. As Donald Trump’s biographer recently said, one of the reasons Weisselberg is in trouble is that he was allegedly paid both as an employee and as a non-employee contractor, allowing for various tax write-offs. TO New York Times investigation reported that Ivanka Trump similarly received more than $ 700,000 (£ 500,000) in consulting fees and at the same time was paid a salary as a full-time employee of the Trump Organization. Eric and Don Jr likely had similar arrangements; We only know for sure about Ivanka because she had to disclose the payments when she gave herself a job in the White House.

If any of Trump’s kids are going to turn on their father, my money is directly on Ivanka. In fact, he already seems to be strategically distancing himself from his father, who is no longer particularly useful. A couple of weeks ago, for example, there were reports that Trump’s complaints about the 2020 election “stolen” They were pushing Ivanka and Jared Kushner away. These reported leaks about Javanka are not new phenomena – they occurred frequently during the Trump presidency. leading some to suspect it was a public relations tactic by a couple willing to remain in the good will of the Liberals as well as the Maga crowd.

While Ivanka appears to be coldly trying to control her own behind-the-scenes narrative, Donald Jr and Eric reacted to the Trump Organization’s criminal charges by showing histrionics in front of the camera. Eric trump told Newsmax last week that “Don, Ivanka and I live very nice and clean lives.” Meanwhile, Don Jr posted a 13-minute video on Facebook calling the charges against his father “things from the banana republic.” He too (quite uselessly) acknowledged that the allegations Trump paid for Weisselberg’s grandchildren’s school fees were true. “My dad did that,” he said, because he’s a “good guy.” A “good boy” who probably wishes he had raised smarter kids. With kids like these, who needs enemies?

Arwa Mahdawi is a columnist for The Guardian

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