Monday, February 29, 2016

Fraud in the Inducement?

"Fraud in the Inducement" is defined as when one party induces another to act in their favor through misleading information through trickery or misleading information.

Is Donald Trump potentially guilty of "Fraud in the Inducement"?

Trump states at almost event he holds that he is "self-funding" his campaign.

He also has a long history of telling people at every chance he gets of how rich he is. This certainly is intended to give the impression that he has all the money in the world to fund anything he wants to do (including his campaign for President of the United States.)

I have written previously that Trump is really not "self-funding" campaign in the manner most people would assume he would be---by making contributions to his campaign. For the most part, he is actually only loaning funds to his campaign.

Why is he doing this?

When someone makes a loan to a campaign the expectation is that the loan will someday be repaid. If not, why not just contribute the money?

How will the loans be repaid? From political contributions to the campaign from other donors. The identical manner in which almost all politicians raise money.

I believe that Trump has a clear expectation that he will have his campaign loans repaid by other donors if he wins the nomination or the Presidency. He knows it is easy to raise money when you are on top. Then again, no one wants to give money to a loser.

Trump is clearly hedging his bets. If he wins, he is going to raise money like everyone and recoup the money he loaned to his campaign. If he loses, he will be no worse off than if he had contributed the money upfront.

It is perfectly legal to do so. However, Trump is clearly misleading voters about this issue.

The real problem is that if he wins the GOP nomination, what if he does not really have the money, or the desire, to fund his campaign for the General Election?

Is this not Fraud in the Inducement of the millions of GOP voters who put him on the November ballot expecting him to self-fund and defeat Hillary?

Isn't Trump inducing voters to vote from him based on misleading information if he does not follow through and totally self fund his campaign?

A large percentage of Trump supporters cite the fact that they favor him because he is self funding his campaign and he would not be beholden to special interests if he was elected President.

However, as stated above, what if he does not follow through and self-fund?

Even worse, what if Trump does not have anywhere near the wealth he says that he does?

Jim Geraghty  asked the question "What if Trump Does Not Billions?" in a recent article in National Review.

Could it be that most of Trump's wealth is big talk that is not backed up by big dollars?

Why would Mitt Romney go on national television and declare, “I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes. Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay”? 
Since when does buttoned-down, white-bread Mitt Romney make audacious, provocative accusations? Romney’s accusation might be a safe bet — if not to be verified, then to never be refuted. Just a few years ago, Trump refused to release un-redacted tax returns, even when it could help him win a $5 billion libel lawsuit against a New York Times reporter and author. If Trump was unwilling to release his returns in that circumstance, how likely is it that Trump will release them before Election Day?

Geraghty details a libel lawsuit Trump filed in 2007 against New York Times Reporter Tim O'Brien when he wrote that Trump's net worth at that time was between $150 million and $250 million. That is a nice piece of change, but it is certainly a long way from the $10 billion that Trump claims today. And it was also a long way off from the $5 billion that Trump was claiming he was worth at that time.

It is also no where close to what would be required to self fund a campaign for President considering Mitt Romney spent $1.1 billion in campaign funds, Super PAC money and Republican Party support in 2012---and lost!

Trump also lost his lawsuit against Tim O'Brien.

One of the reasons that Trump lost was that he never produced a tax return even though, if he had as much money as he said he did, it could have easily shown that the reporter was wildly off base in his reporting. And he had 5 billion reasons to do so.

Every Trump supporter should carefully consider these questions. They should also be very skeptical as to why Trump is refusing to release any of his tax returns to the public.

Geraghty speculates that we will never see any tax returns from Donald Trump.

Trump says he will release his tax returns when the IRS audits are completed.

However, he says he is audited every year so it sounds as that day will never come as Trump defines it.

There is no reason that Trump cannot release all his tax returns tomorrow for previous years that are no longer under audit and have been closed by the IRS. He should also release any adjustments that the IRS made to those returns while he is at it.

Cruz, Rubio and the media should not give Trump a pass on this issue. It is too big an issue considering the issue Trump has made of his wealth and the self-funding of his campaign.

Republican voters need to know whether Trump really has the money to self-fund the General Election campaign.

Or is all of Trump's talk nothing but "Fraud in the Inducement"?

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