ABC News Quotes Douglas Varley on Potential IRS Red Flags for Trump Charitable Transactions
Longtime Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen described allegedly being asked by Trump "to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event." […] When the portrait ultimately was purchased by his representative -- for $60,000 -- Cohen said Trump "directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself."
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Douglas Varley, a charity tax expert at the Washington law firm Caplin & Drysdale, told ABC News an incident like the one described by Cohen also would likely raise red flags at the IRS.
"The question would be, What was the charitable purpose for acquiring that painting?" Varley said. And, even if there was a charitable purpose in acquiring the painting "there would still be a question of whether there would be too much benefit to Mr. Trump."
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Excerpt taken from the article “Democrats Say Michael Cohen's Dramatic Testimony Escalates Need for Trump's Tax Returns” by Matthew Mosk and Tara Palmeri for ABC News.