For four years, Donald Trump’s tax returns have been the white whale of political journalists and the most sought-after material of any presidency this side of Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes. Naturally, when The New York Times obtained and published the trove, it was an epochal moment for the media and a major headache for Trump himself.
But buried in the details, tucked between the revelations of foreign financing and piling losses, stood another reason Trump worried about the returns leaking into the public arena. The tax returns pointed to a curious, and potentially criminal, bit of accounting sleight of hand that roped in what matters most to Trump: Ivanka.
Trump appears to have spun Ivanka, a lieutenant in his paper empire, as a mere consultant as a means of gutting his taxable income. Suffice it to say, the maneuver is not simply highly unethical but likely illegal. In years past, the IRS has pursued civil penalties against others for devising just such schemes. Nor would Trump likely be the only party liable. After all, tax fraud schemes like this always require witting partners on both ends of the payment. And what better partner in a scam to defraud the IRS—and, by extension, the American taxpayer—than a daughter who appears eager to follow in her crooked father’s footsteps?
Rather than the manicured professional and golden American princess she professes to be, Ivanka has a track record that illustrates just how willingly she’s imbibed her father’s fetish for fraud.