Not much going on today, other than the president’s former lawyer and fixer testifying before Congress that the president is a “racist,” a “conman,” and a “cheat.” Good thing for this humble sports website that the testimony has a sports angle!
In 2014, Donald Trump attempted to purchase the Buffalo Bills. That didn’t end up happening, as Terry Pegula was eventually named the winning bidder. (It does not do to spend too much time thinking about the alternate universe in which Trump won the bidding, and how much better off we’d all be right now.) As part of his Congressional testimony today, Michael Cohen submitted three years of Trump’s financial statements, which were submitted to Deutsche Bank in 2014 as part of an application for a loan for the money required to buy the Bills. The third of those three years shows a very different bottom line.
Donald Trump’s listed total net worth for each year:
What explains the jump? Trump, alleges Cohen, kept two sets of books.
“It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes,” Cohen said in his testimony, “and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”
When applying for the Deutsche Bank loan (and, of course, to convince other NFL owners that he was rich enough), it was in Trump’s interest to appear as wealthy as possible. So, in the most recent financial statement, Trump added $4 billion to his assets with the previously unused and extremely nebulous line item “Brand Value.”
The three years of documents, as submitted to Congress by Cohen, are below.