Chris Christie gave Trump a $25 million tax gift, was it illegal?
Just how good of friends are Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie? Well, it turns out Mr. Christie has been pulling favors for Trump for many years, including helping Trump’s $30 million in tax debt from his failed casino “Trump Taj Majal” disappear.
The state of New Jersey had battled with Trump for years over the past-due taxes, with Trump filing false reports on how much revenue was earned, and how much he believed his tax liability to be. New Jersey demanded Trump pay them $30 million, which was the total amount owed including massive interest from late penalties.
However, in 2011 when Chris Christie came to power the entire tone and tenor of the government’s case changed. Suddenly they were willing to allow Trump to settle his debt for pennies on the dollar — something they would have never considered in the past. In fact when the smoke cleared Trump’s tax liability had shrunk from $30 million to a near $5 million — only 17 cents on the dollar. While it is not completely without precedent for a state to reduce a total amount owed to avoid having to pay lawyers for years of court battles, the massive discount raised more than a few eyebrows. Now that Trump has risen to the national stage to run for president, their relationship is receiving the closer examination which it deserves, and something certainly smells rotten.
Will the revelation change the minds of voters about Trump? Unlikely, as they will view him as a hero for sticking the government with a bill. However, for everyone else who pays their obligations in full, and on time, it is just another slap in the face from Trump who plays by an entirely different set of rules not afforded to everyday citizens.