Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

President Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, could face up to five years in prison for tax fraud, former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman said Tuesday. (Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images)

'No Question' Trump and Daughter Ivanka Could Face Jail Time for Tax Fraud After Leaving White House, Says Legal Expert

"The only thing saving him at this point is the Department of Justice's guideline that says you can't indict a sitting president."

Julia Conley

Both President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka are liable to face jail time due to tax fraud should the president lose his reelection bid in November, a former Watergate prosecutor told CNN on Tuesday.

Nick Akerman, who investigated former President Richard Nixon's tax activities as part of the Watergate investigation, told anchor Erin Burnett that Nixon was a "rookie amateur" compared to Trump's maneuvers which allowed him to pay no federal income taxes for at least 11 years and just $750 in 2016 and 2017.

While the New York Times gave its bombshell story about Trump's tax records from the past two decades a headline referring to his "tax avoidance," Akerman said the article actually describes several instances of tax fraud that both the president and his eldest daughter participated in. 

"Tax avoidance is simply taking the tax code and getting the most deductions you can get under the code that is perfectly legal," Akerman told Burnett. "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 a particular revelation about consulting fees that the Trump Organization paid to an outside consultant for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver, British Columbia, totaling $747,622. Ivanka Trump, who at the time was an executive at the Trump Organization, reported that she received that exact amount in 2017 through a consulting firm she co-owned.

"There is no legitimate reason for her to get those consulting fees since she was being paid already as a Trump employee," Akerman said. "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. So in the end, the government gets zero dollars."

According to the law, there is "no question" the president and Ivanka Trump could face at least five years in prison for tax evasion, Akerman said.

"It is a pretty serious crime and the more money that is stolen the longer you go to jail for," he said, adding, "The only thing saving him at this point is the Department of Justice's guideline that says you can't indict a sitting president."

The DOJ is currently guided by a 2000 Office of Legal Counsel memo stating that a sitting president cannot be indicted—guidance that is "far from being definitive" and could be reconsidered by the department, according to Lawfare. 

As it stands, should Trump lose the general election in November, "any decent prosecutor looking at this evidence would be able to put together a pretty viable tax case," Akerman said, adding that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. is currently probing Trump's financial records. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Says End Filibuster to Combat 'Outrageous' Supreme Court Assault on Abortion Rights

"If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and make abortion legal and safe," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo