Fig. 1. Post-collapse scene at the Fern Hollow Bridge, photograph by National Transportation Safety Board, January 29, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
Julia Felton’s report is much more damning than the headline suggests. Supposedly some of the stuff that’s needed to be done within days has already been done. But what’s been released is non-specific so we can’t be sure that all of it has.
Julia Felton, “Dozens of bridges maintained by Pittsburgh in need of repairs within 6 months, report says,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 21, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/dozens-of-bridges-maintained-by-pittsburgh-in-need-of-repairs-within-6-months-report-says/
Kris B. Mamula, “Pittsburgh’s new Fern Hollow Bridge is engineering marvel, officials say,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 21, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/12/21/pittsburgh-fern-hollow-bridge-engineering-collapse/stories/202212210108
Fig. 2. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
None of this reporting labels Donald Trump a tax cheat. It all talks about issues requiring investigation, sometimes requiring more Internal Revenue Service resources than the agency, ahem, chose to make available, and a discrepancy between the routinely scheduled audits of Barack Obama and Joe Biden while president and the failure to conduct the same of Trump until a Congressional committee inquired.
We are not supposed to infer from Trump’s earlier refusal to release his tax returns or his resistance to the release of those returns that he has something to hide. Nor can we infer from convictions of the Trump Organization or its accountant that Trump has cheated on his personal taxes.
Finally, we should not speculate on the outcome of a number of investigations that remain in progress or of any lawsuits that have not yet been resolved.
But you know what? I think Trump is a tax cheat.
Dareh Gregorian and Sahil Kapur, “House committee votes to make public Donald Trump’s personal and business tax records,” NBC News, December 20, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-committee-votes-donald-trumps-personal-business-tax-records-rcna62212
Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig, and Mike McIntire, “Trump’s Taxes: Red Flags, Big Losses and a Windfall From His Father,” New York Times, December 21, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/21/us/politics/trump-tax-returns-findings.html
Charlie Savage and Alan Rappeport, “I.R.S. Routinely Audited Obama and Biden, Raising Questions Over Delays for Trump,” New York Times, December 21, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/21/us/politics/trump-irs-taxes.html
- Julia Felton, “Dozens of bridges maintained by Pittsburgh in need of repairs within 6 months, report says,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 21, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/dozens-of-bridges-maintained-by-pittsburgh-in-need-of-repairs-within-6-months-report-says/↩
- Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig, and Mike McIntire, “Trump’s Taxes: Red Flags, Big Losses and a Windfall From His Father,” New York Times, December 21, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/21/us/politics/trump-tax-returns-findings.html; Dareh Gregorian and Sahil Kapur, “House committee votes to make public Donald Trump’s personal and business tax records,” NBC News, December 20, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-committee-votes-donald-trumps-personal-business-tax-records-rcna62212; Charlie Savage and Alan Rappeport, “I.R.S. Routinely Audited Obama and Biden, Raising Questions Over Delays for Trump,” New York Times, December 21, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/21/us/politics/trump-irs-taxes.html↩
- Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court denies Trump bid to withhold tax returns from Congress,” Washington Post, November 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/22/supreme-court-trump-taxes/; David A. Fahrenthold, Rachael Bade, and John Wagner, “Trump sues in bid to block congressional subpoena of financial records,” Washington Post, April 22, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-sues-in-bid-to-block-congressional-subpoena-of-financial-records/2019/04/22/a98de3d0-6500-11e9-82ba-fcfeff232e8f_story.html; Brian Faler, “Treasury misses congressional deadline for turning over Trump’s tax returns,” Politico, April 10, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/10/trump-tax-returns-congress-1342027; Spencer S. Hsu, “Judge denies Trump bid to quash House subpoena for years of financial records,” Washington Post, May 20, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/us-judge-denies-trump-bid-to-quash-house-subpoena-for-years-of-financial-records/2019/05/20/74e45880-7b21-11e9-8bb7-0fc796cf2ec0_story.html; Ann E. Marimow, Spencer S. Hsu, and David A. Fahrenthold, “Appeals court rules against Trump in fight with Congress over president’s accounting firm records,” Washington Post, October 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/appeals-court-rules-against-trump-in-fight-with-congress-over-presidents-accounting-firm-records/2019/10/11/42933894-b9ea-11e9-b3b4-2bb69e8c4e39_story.html; Ann E. Marimow, “Congress can seek 8 years of Trump’s tax records, court order indicates,” Washington Post, November 13, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/congress-can-seek-eight-years-of-trumps-tax-records-appeals-court-rules/2019/11/13/b4fc8002-fc07-11e9-8906-ab6b60de9124_story.html; Katelyn Polantz and Tierney Sneed, “House Democrats can get some of Trump’s tax records from accounting firm Mazars USA, judge rules,” CNN, August 11, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/11/politics/trump-taxes-mazars-house-democrats/index.html; Tierney Sneed, “Trump asks Supreme Court to stop IRS from turning over his tax returns to the House,” CNN, October 31, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/31/politics/trump-supreme-court-appeal/index.html; Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie Gurman, “Justice Department Advises Treasury to Release Trump Tax Returns,” Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-says-treasury-must-release-trump-tax-returns-11627667462↩
- Lauren del Valle and Kara Scannell, “Trump Organization found guilty on all counts of criminal tax fraud,” CNN, December 6, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/06/politics/trump-organization-fraud-trial-verdict/index.html↩
- Sheila McClear and Mark Berman, “Allen Weisselberg, longtime Trump executive, pleads guilty to tax fraud,” Washington Post, August 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/08/18/weisselberg-trump-guilty-plea/↩
- William D. Cohan, “The Trump Lawsuit’s Known Unknowns & New ‘Shittrix’ Drama,” Puck News, September 25, 2022, https://puck.news/the-trump-lawsuits-known-unknowns-new-shittrix-drama/; Shayna Jacobs and Jonathan O’Connell, “Donald Trump, 3 of his children sued for business fraud by New York AG,” Washington Post, September 21, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/21/trump-sued-new-york-letitia-james/; Hugo Lowell, Maya Yang, and Martin Pengelly, “New York attorney general lawsuit accuses Trump of ‘staggering’ fraud,” Guardian, September 21, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/21/trump-new-york-investigation-ivanka-donald-eric; Eugene Robinson, “Letitia James used Trump’s boasts against him. It was devastating,” Washington Post, September 21, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/21/letitia-james-trump-marketing/; David Smith, “‘He’s done’: how Donald Trump’s legal woes have just gotten a lot worse,” Guardian, September 22, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/21/donald-trump-lawsuit-new-york-investigation↩