Daniel Shaviro/Simply Safety:

The Weisselberg Indictment Is Not A “Fringe Advantages” Case

Greedy the Full Scope of the Alleged Prison Scheme

Within the days earlier than the July 1, 2021 issuance of the Manhattan District Lawyer’s Weisselberg-Trump Group indictment, public anticipation was positively underwhelming. It will simply be a fringe advantages case, we were told – which means, a dispute, of a picayune kind that just about by no means yields felony fees, relating to whether or not or not an worker’s use of, say, an organization automotive or residence yielded taxable earnings, within the face of admitted private profit but additionally with believable claims of enterprise objective aside from the purely compensatory. Everybody does it, we heard, and it shouldn’t be the premise for a felony fraud cost. What’s extra, this ostensibly would simply be a New York State or Metropolis earnings tax subject, not federal, thus limiting the size and financial significance of the claimed wrongdoing.

Then the indictment dropped, and it seems that public expectations might scarcely have fallen additional brief than they have been of the magnitude of what was truly being charged. Let me spell out the particulars beneath a number of headings:

1. That is no mere fringe advantages case. It’s a straight-out fraud case, claiming that the defendants saved double books: phony ones to point out the tax authorities, and correct ones to be hidden from view. The query of whether or not a given firm residence or automotive would possibly in concept (with acceptable supporting info) have been an excludable fringe profit seems to be nearly fully irrelevant. A greater analogy to what’s being charged right here is the next: Suppose that your employer pays you month-to-month, by way of routinely deposited paychecks that find yourself being included in your annual W-2. However suppose that every month you possibly can cease by the entrance workplace, request an envelope full of money in unmarked payments, and have your W-2 lowered accordingly. So your true earnings can be the identical as when you hadn’t stopped by, however you’d be reporting much less wage. In case your employer saved cautious information of all of the money it gave you, and in addition nonetheless deducted all of it, we’d principally have this case. That’s far completely different from easy failure to pay taxes on fringe advantages, which is how the indictment has been broadly misunderstood, thanks partly to Trump’s protection legal professionals’ laying the groundwork earlier than the costs have been made public on Thursday.

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Rick Hasen/NY Instances:

The Supreme Courtroom Is Placing Democracy at Threat

In two disturbing rulings closing out the Supreme Courtroom’s time period, the courtroom’s six-justice conservative majority, over the loud protests of its three-liberal minority, has proven itself hostile to American democracy.

In a single case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, the courtroom has weakened the final remaining authorized software for safeguarding minority voters in federal courts from a brand new wave of laws searching for to suppress the vote that’s emanating from Republican-controlled states. Within the different, Americans for Prosperity v. Bonta, the courtroom has laid the groundwork for decrease courts to strike down marketing campaign finance disclosure legal guidelines and legal guidelines that restrict marketing campaign contributions to federal, state and native candidates.

The courtroom is placing our democratic type of authorities in danger not solely in these two choices however in its general course over the previous few many years.

Jennifer Taub/Washington Month-to-month:

How one can Perceive the Trump Tax Indictment

Within the days main as much as the indictment being unsealed and Weisselberg being introduced earlier than the courtroom in handcuffs, protection legal professionals tried to brush it off as small potatoes. But, the crimes alleged are fairly severe, together with a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny, felony tax fraud, and falsifying enterprise information. Weisselberg, 73, appeared earlier than the choose on Thursday and pled not responsible to all fees. A conviction might result in a few years in state jail.

Not solely did he apparently effectuate what prosecutor Carey Dunne on the arraignment called a “sweeping and audacious unlawful fee scheme,” he was considered one of its greatest beneficiaries. The indictment reveals that Weisselberg loved luxurious vehicles, a swanky Manhattan residence, non-public college tuition, and extra, all offered by his employer, with out paying a penny from his personal pocket and with out declaring any of it as earnings. However he was not the one beneficiary. Weisselberg, who has labored for the Trump household for half a century, helped the Trump Group pay different executives off the books as nicely.

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Markian Hawryluk/KHN:

How One Rural City With no Pharmacy Is Crowdsourcing to Get Meds

It’s an hourlong drive over treacherous mountain passes to Laramie, Wyoming, or Granby or Steamboat Springs, Colorado — and the closest pharmacies. The routes out of the valley wherein Walden lies are commonly closed by heavy winter snows, retaining residents in and medicines out.

Walden has suffered the destiny of many small cities throughout america, because the economics of the pharmacy enterprise have made it troublesome for neighborhood drugstores to outlive. With giant pharmacy chains shopping for up unbiased drugstores and more and more controlling the provision chain, cities equivalent to Walden have too few residents to draw a sequence drugstore and no nice attraction for pharmacists prepared to strike out on their very own.

With no native entry to prescribed drugs, the city of primarily cattle ranchers and hay farmers has crowdsourced a supply system, making the most of anybody’s journey to these larger cities to select up medicines for the remainder of the city.

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Daniel Hemel/Atlantic:

The Trump Group Is in Large Bother

The indictments of the enterprise and its CFO allege not some minor technical errors, however blatant violations of the regulation.

Early experiences characterised the crime in query as involving “fringe advantages.” This offers totally the incorrect impression. The Trump Group and Weisselberg aren’t being charged with tripping over some hyper-technical provision on the margins of the tax system. They’re being charged with blatantly violating fundamental tax-law necessities—and bilking New York State and New York Metropolis out of a whole lot of 1000’s of {dollars} alongside the way in which.

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Alex Burns/NY Instances:

Why America’s Politics Are Stubbornly Fastened, Regardless of Momentous Modifications

The nation is recovering from a pandemic and an financial disaster, and its former president is in authorized and monetary peril. However no political realignment seems to be at hand.

“I believe we’re open to small strikes; I’m undecided we’re open to massive strikes,” mentioned Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster. “Partisanship has made our system so sclerotic that it isn’t very attentive to actual adjustments in the actual world.”

Amid the mounting drama of the early summer season, a second of reality seems imminent. It’s one that can reveal whether or not the American citizens remains to be able to large-scale shifts in opinion, or whether or not the nation is actually locked right into a schism for the foreseeable future, with roughly 53 % of Individuals on one aspect and 47 % on the opposite.