Al Capone was finally brought down because of his tax affairs. Could the same thing happen to Donald Trump?

This is an extract from the Wikipedia page on American gangster Al Capone:

“The federal authorities became intent on jailing Capone, and prosecuted him in 1931 for tax evasion. During a highly publicized case, the judge admitted as evidence Capone’s admissions of his income and unpaid taxes, made during prior (and ultimately abortive) negotiations to pay the government taxes he owed. He was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. After conviction, he replaced his defense team with experts in tax law, and his grounds for appeal were strengthened by a Supreme Court ruling, but his appeal ultimately failed. Capone showed signs of neurosyphilis early in his sentence, and became increasingly debilitated before being released after almost eight years of incarceration. On January 25, 1947, he died of cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke.”

This is an extract from a BBC report on a current case before the Supreme Court concerning President Donald Trump’s refusal to reveal his tax records:

“The US Supreme Court has heard arguments on whether President Donald Trump should be allowed to keep his financial records secret, in a major showdown over presidential powers. Mr Trump has refused to share documents that could shed light on his fortune and the work of his family company. Two congressional committees and New York prosecutors demand the release of his tax returns and other information. Mr Trump’s private lawyers argue he enjoys total immunity while in office. A ruling is expected within weeks. Unlike other recent presidents, Mr Trump has refused to release his tax returns and a decision against him could result in his personal financial information becoming public in the campaign season. Experts say the ruling will have far-reaching implications for the ability of Congress to scrutinise the activities of sitting presidents and of prosecutors to investigate them.”

At any other time, this court case would be big news internationally, but the coronavirus crisis means that few people outside America – and indeed many in the USA itself – are not aware of this dramatic matter.


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