Michael Cohen: Trump’s ‘biggest fear’ was release of tax returns


Michael Cohen has revealed Donald Trump’s ‘biggest fear’ was always his tax returns being released to the public – and he predicts the president could go straight to prison for tax fraud after leaving the White House.

The president’s former personal attorney and self-described fixer, who himself was convicted for tax evasion, says the New York Times bombshell report about Trump’s taxes for the past two decades is just the tip of the iceberg.

He says the ‘corrupt’ president could face a raft more allegations should forensic accountants get hold of his returns.

‘Based on what I know and what has now been reported, he may soon be the first sitting president to go from the White House straight to prison,’ he told DailyMail.com.

‘Trump’s biggest fear is that if his tax return is released, that there’s a whole slew of organizations of accountants and forensic accountants that will rip through it and he will end up with a massive tax bill, fraud penalties, fines and possibly even tax fraud.

‘He doesn’t report the income that he claims and the IRS were probably very lenient in how they took deductions.’

Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen says the president's 'biggest fear' is his taxes being released to the public

Donald Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen says the president’s ‘biggest fear’ is his taxes being released to the public. Cohen says the New York Times bombshell report about Trump’s taxes for the past two decades is just the tip of the iceberg for the president

Cohen, who was convicted of tax evasion, says he predicts Trump will be the 'first sitting president to go from the White House straight to prison'

Cohen, who was convicted of tax evasion, says he predicts Trump will be the ‘first sitting president to go from the White House straight to prison’ 

Cohen discussed Trump’s taxes in his book ‘Disloyal: A Memoir’ and revealed the president once received a $10million tax refund check from the IRS.

He wrote of Trump’s tax dodge on page 94 of the book: ‘Conversely, as you’ll see in later pages with potential criminal consequences when it came time to pay taxes – an obligation Trump didn’t minimize or avoid, but rather almost certainly illegally evaded – the same properties would be deemed essentially worthless, or better yet, the subject of giant capital losses which he could then deduct.

Cohen discussed Trump's taxes in his book 'Disloyal: A Memoir' and revealed the president once received a $10million tax refund check from the IRS

Cohen discussed Trump’s taxes in his book ‘Disloyal: A Memoir’ and revealed the president once received a $10million tax refund check from the IRS

‘I remember sitting in Trump’s office on the 26th floor when a tax refund check for $10 million from the government arrived. He held the check up for me to see, flabbergasted but also delighted.

”Can you believe how f*cking stupid the IRS is?’ Trump asked. ‘Who would give me a refund of ten f*cking million dollars? They are so stupid!”

Cohen says that during the same period he had paid $6million in taxes to the IRS, yet he is the one that ended up in prison.

The former attorney is now planning a special episode of his podcast Mea Culpa focusing on the alleged financial crimes and corruption of Donald Trump.

He added: ‘Everything I have stated about Donald Trump has been proven 100% true.’

The New York Times reported Sunday that the president paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017.

And documents show the president paid no income tax at all in 11 of the 18 years studied, according to a report by the paper.

He was able to minimize his tax bill by reporting heavy losses across his business empire, including at his golf courses.

That’s despite receiving $427.4 million through 2018 from his reality television program and other endorsement deals.

The investigation even revealed tax deductions on expenses included $70,000 on styling Trump’s hair for The Apprentice.

The president could also face mounting financial pressure in the years ahead.

The tax records show he’s carrying a total of $421 million in loans and debt that are primarily due within four years.

Responding to the report Sunday evening Trump told reporters: ‘It’s totally fake news. Made up. Totally fake news.’

Michael Cohen tweeted an excerpt from his book where wrote about how Trump called the IRS 'stupid'

Michael Cohen tweeted an excerpt from his book where wrote about how Trump called the IRS ‘stupid’ 

Cohen has regularly sounded the alarm about Trump's taxes, which led to an investigation from the New York Attorney General's Office that is still ongoing

Cohen has regularly sounded the alarm about Trump’s taxes, which led to an investigation from the New York Attorney General’s Office that is still ongoing

The president, who campaigned for office as a billionaire real estate mogul and successful businessman, said he has paid taxes, though he gave no specifics.

His attorney later told the press Trump had personally paid millions of dollars in tax over the years.

Cohen is now planning a special episode of his podcast Mea Culpa focusing on the alleged financial crimes and corruption of Donald Trump

Cohen is now planning a special episode of his podcast Mea Culpa focusing on the alleged financial crimes and corruption of Donald Trump

Cohen has regularly sounded the alarm about Trump’s taxes, which led to an investigation from the New York Attorney General’s Office that is still ongoing.

On December 12, 2018, Cohen himself was sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine after pleading guilty to tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

He was released early in May this year due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest.

Cohen has since turned vocal in his contempt for Trump, whom he blames for his fall from grace.

Cohen, 54, started his podcast on the heels of his book ‘Disloyal: A Memoir’, which last week shot to number one in the New York Times bestseller list.

Staunch Trump critics Rosie O’Donnell, former White House Director of Communications, Anthony Scaramucci and Trump’s fired aide Omarosa Manigault Newman have appeared on his show which is run in a partnership between Audio Up Media and MeidasTouch.

Michael Cohen’s Mea Culpa airs every Monday and is available for download. 

KEY FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT ON TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS

TRUMP PAID JUST $750 IN TAXES IN BOTH 2016 and 2017.

The newspaper said Trump initially paid $95 million in taxes over the 18 years it studied. But he managed to recover most of that money by claiming — and receiving — a stunning $72.9 million federal tax refund. According to the Times, Trump also pocketed $21.2 million in state and local refunds, which are typically based on federal filings.

Trump’s outsize refund became the subject of a now-long-standing Internal Revenue Service audit of his finances. The audit was widely known. Trump has claimed it was the very reason why he cannot release his returns. But the Times report is the first to identify the issue that was mainly in dispute.

As a result of the refund, Trump paid an average $1.4 million in federal taxes from 2000 to 2017, the Times reported. By contrast, the average U.S. taxpayer in the top .001% of earners paid about $25 million annually over the same timeframe.

TRUMP HAS FINANCED AN EXTRAVAGANT LIFESTYLE WITH THE USE OF BUSINESS EXPENSES

From his homes, his aircraft — and $70,000 on hair styling during his television show “The Apprentice” — Trump has capitalized on cost incurred from his businesses to finance a luxurious lifestyle.

The Times noted that Trump’s homes, planes and golf courses are part of the Trump family business and, as such, Trump classified them as business expenses as well. Because companies can write off business expenses as deductions, all such expenses have helped reduce Trump’s tax liability.

MANY OF HIS BEST-KNOWN BUSINESSES ARE MONEY-LOSERS

The president has frequently pointed to his far-flung hotels, golf courses and resorts as evidence of his success as a developer and businessman. Yet these properties have been been draining money.

The Times reported that Trump has claimed $315 million in losses since 2000 on his golf courses, including the Trump National Doral near Miami, which Trump has portrayed as a crown jewel in his business empire. Likewise, his Trump International Hotel in Washington has lost $55 million, the Times reported.

FOREIGN VISITORS HAVE HELPED SUPPORT TRUMP’S PROPERTIES

Since Trump began his presidential run, lobbyists, foreign governments and politicians have lavished significant sums of money on his properties, a spending spree that raised questions about its propriety and legality.

The Times report illustrates just how much that spending has been: Since 2015, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida has taken in $5 million more a year from a surge in membership. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association spent at least $397,602 in 2017 at Trump’s Washington hotel. Overseas projects have produced millions more for Trump — $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India and $1 million from Turkey.

TRUMP WILL FACE FINANCIAL PRESSURE AS DEBTS COME DUE

Trump seems sure to face heavy financial pressures from the enormous pile of debt he has absorbed. The Times said the president appears to be responsible for $421 million in loans, most of which will come due within four years. On top of that, a $100 million mortgage on Trump Tower in New York will come due in 2022.

Reporting by the Associated Press

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