Neither Eric Trump nor Donald Trump Jr. — who serve as top executives at the Trump family business — are taking well to criminal charges against the Trump business and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, that were filed this week. Trump Jr. bizarrely compared the charges to the actions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s regime, while Eric offered his own nonsense. The charges relate to an apparent years-long scheme to dole out pricey benefits to top executives while evading taxes on those items — like apartment space, hundreds of thousands of dollars of private school tuition, and more, which amounted to compensation and were listed as such on internal Trump company documents. Allen alone is accused of owing over $900,000 in taxes.
During appearances on Newsmax and Fox News, Eric melted down. Among other rhetoric, he insisted that he and his siblings have “always lived amazingly clean lives.” Without a hint of irony, Eric also ranted that he wasn’t “having lavish trips paid for” while his father served as president. What about the literal hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money that got spent on Secret Service protection for travels by Eric and his siblings? While that doesn’t cover the base costs of the trips, and while the Trumps, as a presidential family, essentially automatically warrant protection — Eric isn’t telling the whole story. At least $2.5 million in government money went into the Trump family business through bills to federal authorities for usage of its facilities in connection to Donald’s visits.
Eric angrily ranted as follows:
‘We’ve always lived amazingly clean lives, and believe me, if they could’ve [indicted Eric, Don Jr., or Ivanka] they already would’ve, right? I mean that’s what they wanted. That was their end goal. You know, the difference is, I’m not Hunter Biden… I’m not doing drugs in shady hotels… I’m not going out and selling influence to Ukraine and China and having lavish trips paid for while my father’s commander-in-chief. No, I’m not doing that… Don, Ivanka, and I, we live really nice, clean lives, and we work very, very hard. And guess what? Long before politics ever came into our lives, we were in the business world, and we were successful, and we worked very hard, and we lived clean lives.’
Check out his comments below:
Eric Trump is not taking this well… pic.twitter.com/WtzimpjEhy
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) July 1, 2021
On Fox, Eric seemingly got rather close to directly confirming the foundational allegations that authorities have lodged. He referred to the benefits that the Weisselberg family received and that are the subject of the criminal charges as “employment perks” — and in full view of the public, the IRS says as follows on their website: “Fringe benefits are generally included in an employee’s gross income (there are some exceptions). The benefits are subject to income tax withholding and employment taxes. Fringe benefits include cars… discounts on property or services” and more. Eric nevertheless ranted as follows:
‘These are employment perks. These are — a corporate car, which everybody has. I guarantee you there’s people on this network that have corporate cars. I guarantee you there’s people in every company in the country that have corporate vehicles. This is what they’re going after. This isn’t a criminal matter.’
Firstly, it’s simply not accurate that people at “every company” have corporate cars. More acutely: “employment perks” are subject to taxes, Eric! Watch Eric below:
Does the lawyer for the indicted company that Eric is an EVP at know he's on TV? pic.twitter.com/7udDv0VO41
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) July 2, 2021
In his own Fox appearance, Trump Jr. compared the criminal charges to persecution of political adversaries by the Russian regime. As he angrily put it, the charges are “the political persecution of a political enemy,” adding that “this is what Vladimir Putin does.” Trump Jr. also characterized prosecutors as trying “to destroy a man’s life.” Check out his meltdown below:
Don Jr says this indictment is "no different" than what Putin has done to Alexei Navalny.
(Navalny, who Don Jr. refers to as "Navatny," was poisoned with a nerve agent and imprisoned.) pic.twitter.com/GGmLcIVi98
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) July 1, 2021