How Trump Organization’s Next Trial Conviction Can Keep Trump Out Of Federal Contracts, Even With The Secret Service

  • Jury selection begins Monday in the Trump Organization tax evasion trial.

  • Trump could be banned from doing business with the federal government if his company is found guilty.

  • The ban could end his “exorbitant” billing of Secret Service agents who protect him at his resort.

Donald Trump’s real estate and golf resort empire went on trial in Manhattan on Monday in a low-level corporate fraud case with high financial stakes, including potential fines and tax penalties of millions of dollars.

But there is another threatened cost, one that government spending watchdogs have been asking for for years.

A conviction could prompt the government to ban the Trump Organization from doing business as a federal contractor. critics say outrageous — Claims for Secret Service agents to stay on his property while protecting the former president and his family.

Trump isn’t the ideal government contractor in his current state, according to the watchdog. federal regulations requiring “Impeccable standards of conduct”.

These regulations also recommend the “disqualification” or blacklisting of companies convicted of business-related crimes such as “counterfeiting, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements”. I’m here. [and] tax evasion. ”

A conviction in this payroll tax fraud trial will only lead to more calls blacklisting Trump, said Stephen L. Schooner, who teaches government procurement law at George Washington University Law School. .

The schooner grumbled bitterly In the years the Fed continued to do business with Trump despite his two impeachments, inauguration scandalquestion over His Trump International Hotel in DCand forced dissolution of Trump University and the trump foundation The same New York Attorney General’s office now claims he pocketed $250 million through financial fraud.

In addition to it recent news The Trump Organization charged the Secret Service more than $1.4 million to stay at Trump’s estate during the former president’s tenure.

The Secret Service paid $1,185 per night for a room at Trump’s DC hotel, once signed $179,000 contract for golf cart rental at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“The rules that apply to the typical government contractor did not apply to the Trump Organization. Frankly, it is the most depressing and pernicious aspect of this pathetic story,” Schooner said. rice field.

“It’s both heartbreaking and mind-boggling,” he said of the government’s apparent reluctance to put taxpayer dollars in President Trump’s pockets. rice field.

his and her mercedes

A juror, who will be selected in a courtroom in downtown Manhattan starting Monday, said the Trump Organization would sway tax officials by paying executives a portion of their compensation off the books in the form of tax-exempt perks like free apartments and cars. We will determine if you have deceived us.

Former Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg becomes key indictment witness against company after pleading guilty to the Tax Dodge scheme in August.

Weisselberg received $1.7 million in tax-free privileges over 15 years, including luxury Mercedes-Benz cars for him and his wife, free use of a Trump-branded apartment on Manhattan’s Hudson River, and private school tuition for his grandchildren. was put in the pocket.

At the Trump Organization headquarters in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, the car, apartment and tuition were considered part of Weisselberg’s $940,000 annual salary, prosecutors claim.

The Trump Organization has been accused of deliberately and repeatedly filing inaccurate tax forms to avoid payroll taxes on additional compensation, saving the company and its executives money.

As part of his plea, Weisselberg, who remains on the company’s payroll as an advisor, must repay $2 million and serve five months in prison.

The Trump Organization could face stiff tax penalties and fines of up to $1.6 million. calculated by Reutersfound guilty in three tax evasion cases and six other cases on the indictment, all of which are low-level felonies.

Their attorneys counter that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which has been run by Democrats for decades, is pursuing Penny Ante’s fringe benefit lawsuit over political bias against Trump. From the pull up in the trial.

Examples of “Disqualification”

The recent revelations of Secret Service charges and the trial that began in Manhattan have raised hopes for those seeking to terminate Trump’s government contract.

“The Trump Organization has essentially gouged out the federal government and the federal taxpayer,” said Noah Bookbinder, president of civic responsibility and ethics in Washington.

“If convicted, it’s hard to imagine how the federal government would not ban them at that point,” he told an insider.

Bookbinder and Schooner, professors of procurement law, have formally sent letters to the government asking them to cut ties with Trump’s company and its senior executives. October 2021.

Their letters were addressed to government agencies that did business with Trump, including the Federal Office of General Service, which oversees the contract, and the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service.

“Our position has not changed,” said Sean Maltin, a senior policy analyst at the Government Oversight Project, another ethics and accountability oversight group that signed the letter.

“If the organization were to convict on either of the charges, disqualification would be a foregone conclusion,” he told Insider.

Representatives for the Trump Organization and the GSA did not respond to insider requests for comment.

A Secret Service spokesman did not speculate about possible disqualification of the Trump Organization, only saying the agency would respond directly to a congressional inquiry into Trump’s charges.

Secret service is a tough target

Watchdog admits that Trump’s Secret Service billing is a difficult target.

Under federal takeover regulations, a government agency may blacklist a company because “there are compelling reasons to continue doing business with the agency and its contractors.” You can continue to use it.

In the case of the Secret Service, the compelling reason is the difficulty of protecting Trump and his family without staying at any of the resorts where he currently lives. His summer favorite is Trump’s National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“Agencies can easily say they need a contractor,” Schooner explained.

Trump allowed the Secret Service to “stay on our property for free,” as Eric Trump once promised, or voluntarily protected the Secret Service, as Richard Nixon did. Abandoned to – Trump’s Secret Service spigot could be left open. , Watchdog admits.

Still, blacklisting Trump can curb waste like a $179,000 golf cart rental contract.

POGO’s Moultin said the Secret Service “may be able to make some claims that they are in a unique situation” because of the need to get close to the former president.

“But I still remember when Trump was pitching a G-7 meeting on one of his properties.

In 2019, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced that the United States would host the 2020 G-7 summit at the Trump National Doral Golf Resort in Miami. Ideas quickly discarded After critics accused the then-president of self-dealing and other ethical violations.

That same year, then-Vice President Mike Pence stayed at Trump’s hotel during a trip to Ireland. Located 180 miles None of his official engagements revealed that the Air Force crew enjoyed lodging. At Trump’s Luxury Golf Resort in Scotland.

“If there is a future Trump administration, or a future Republican administration, the idea of ​​hosting an official event on his property could come up.

“That’s where I think the ban still works.”

Read the original article at business insider