Trump has no ties with Russia. Almost

The lawyers of the President of trump saying that the income from Russian sources or debt to the Russians in his tax returns do not appear. With the exception of $ 95 million, which paid for belonging to the Trump estate in Florida, Russian billionaire, and 12.2 million dollars in payments related to the conduct of the 2013 contest “Miss universe” in Moscow.

These statements are contained in the letter sent by Trump two lawyers — Sheri Dillon (Dillon Sheri), and William Nelson (William Nelson), and which the White house released on Friday. To this letter the President referred to in an interview with NBC News journalist Lester Holt (Lester Holt) as proof that any hidden financial ties between it and Russia does not exist.

According to lawyers, in addition to funds received from the sale of real estate in Florida and conducting beauty pageant, trump for 10 years received “unspecified” amount from the Russians who used hotel rooms, courts for a game of Golf, or buying products of the brand Trump like wine, ties or mattresses.

But, according to them, these amounts were “inconsequential,” and in the tax returns they not be held as income from Russian sources.

The lawyers noted that the report covers only the period since 2005 when their law firm Morgan Lewis&Bockius began to represent the interests of Donald trump and his Trump Organization company. Also because of the complexity of processing international financial transactions are still not clarified many issues — for example, whether trump or his company’s revenues or loans from Russian companies registered in other countries.

Details are in the letter, basically correspond to what was said recently in his interview with trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr. on income, associated with Russian companies.

They recognized a significant profit obtained in 2008 from the sale of the mansion Maison de L’amitie (“House of friendship”), which occupies a huge territory on the coast at palm beach (Florida), which the family trump bought in 2005, approximately $ 41 million. The buyer was the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Sons trump also acknowledged that wealthy Russians are often involved in the auction and buy property in condominiums, which the company is building the Trump Organization. This does not fit with the statement by the lawyers that other income from property sales to Russians were irrelevant. But, given how the rules reduce the value of the property taking into account depreciation, it is possible that the income from an individual sale to be displayed in such a way that the grounds for the levy of tax on the basic income did not arise.

In the income declarations that trump has filed before, also there is no information, indicating that corporations controlled by them directly or completely in his possession, took out loans from Russian banks.

But the Corporation Trump Organization can still act as investor in other companies, in which trump is not the only or the primary owner and which have a Russian debts. Information about such loans is never disclosed, because in the tax Declaration presented during the election campaign, provided only the complete information about the loans given to the companies that it controls, and the entire list of potential lenders is unknown.

Some experts on tax law, questioned the main part of the letter — for example, how lawyers determined “Russian” revenue sources and “Russian” creditors. In Russia the large companies to conduct business abroad often use subsidiaries in other jurisdictions — for example, in Cyprus, the Netherlands and the British virgin Islands. In addition, it is unclear what the lawyers had in mind, arguing that the tax returns, no income is received from Russian sources, not “reflected”.

“I’ll have to dig deep and examine the books and accounts of the subordinate companies to see the components of a” diverse sources of income, says Professor of tax law at the University of southern California Edward Kleinbard (Edward Kleinbard). Not seeing reporting on real income, “to argue that the counterparties of TTO are not “Russian”, is really meaningless,” he says, using the abbreviated name of the Corporation trump (The Trump Organization).

In an interview with Holt Donald trump said he sent a certified copy of the letter to Senator Lindsey Graham (Lindsey Graham), the Senator from South Carolina, which raised the question of business relations trump with Russia.

During the interview the President talked about the real estate in Florida and the competition “Miss universe”, but said that writing was “one of the most prestigious law firms in the country” — has shown “that for Russia, I have nothing”.

“I have an official letter just so you understand, — said trump. — I’m not saying this just because.”