With Notably Few Exceptions

by Henry Farrell on May 12, 2017

Via Kieran on Twitter. We’ve been here before.



rea 05.12.17 at 3:42 pm

Does the Russian government issue a Form 1099 when they bribe you?


oldster 05.12.17 at 4:11 pm

We can verify he had no income from them, because they did not send him a W-2 at the end of the year. Case closed.


Omega Centauri 05.12.17 at 4:14 pm

It’s those “few” which can get you everytime.


Frederick Guy 05.12.17 at 5:04 pm

Loans are not income, of course.


BruceJ 05.12.17 at 9:03 pm

Thanks! I’d been racking my brain for the original ‘exceptions’ reference.

I think there will be a revival of Senator Jon Kyl’s infamous “Not intended to be a factual statement” and it will become the stock go-to statement by White House spokespersons, when they tire of trying to keep up with the lies…


Glen Tomkins 05.12.17 at 9:14 pm

In my ongoing struggle to lose weight so my diabetes won’t send me to dialysis, I avoid overeating, with few exceptions. Unfortunately, those exceptions are called “breakfast”, “lunch”, and “dinner”, and come around every day. Oh, okay, I left off snacks. But really, well over 50% of the time, I’m not overeating.


mrearl 05.12.17 at 9:20 pm

The lawyers say he doesn’t have loans either. Conspicuously absent is any mention of Russian losses the returns may show.


peterv 05.12.17 at 9:59 pm

“. . . and may I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the British Navy. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find any toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they’re to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up.”

Vice Admiral Sir John Cunningham, speaking in Episode 32 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.


dr ngo 05.13.17 at 4:36 am

Since no one else has mentioned it yet – the law firm that issued this statement was named “Russian law firm of the year” last year.

As Anna Russell used to say, during her justly celebrated re-telling of Wagner’s Ring Cycle: “I’m not making this up, you know!”


bad Jim 05.13.17 at 4:55 am

Let he who is without income from Russian sources cast the first stone.


Dr. Hilarius 05.13.17 at 5:34 pm

Would the firm’s definition of Russian income include income from Panamanian-registered shell companies controlled by Russian oligarchs? The question almost answers itself. But the real concern is not so much income from Russian sources as debts owed.

Just to remind (and there’s the Bank of Cypress again with its memories of our current Secretary of State, Wilbur Ross): https://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/panama-papers-money-hidden-offshore


Sandwichman 05.13.17 at 10:51 pm

With few exceptions, Donald Trump’s income is from shell corporations that get income from other shell corporations that get income from other shell corporations that get income from other shell corporations that get income from other shell corporations that get income from other shell corporations…

It’s shell corporations all the way down.


F. Foundling 05.14.17 at 6:09 pm

FWIW, the letter as reported on by Reuters (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-taxes-russia-idUSKBN18827K) did specify the ‘few exceptions’: ‘the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and the 2008 sale of a Florida estate to a Russian billionaire’, in addition to ‘ “immaterial” amounts of money from Russians over the years through ordinary sales transactions, including condominium rentals or sales, hotel rooms, rounds of golf, or sales of Trump-licensed products’. I’m not an expert, but this doesn’t exactly strike me as something as discrediting to Trump as the 2008 crisis should have been to free-market dogma.

Re ‘Russian law firm of the year’ @9, reading the Reuters article, I observe that the award is ‘ Russia law firm of the year’. The firm itself is a ‘global law firm with 30 offices in cities around the world including New York and Moscow’. The Chambers and Partners award is explicitly for the achievements of its Moscow office in 2016. Does such an award warrant the conclusion that the entire firm and anyone who uses its services is in the pocket of the Russian government? Well, I don’t know, it seems a bit like jumping to a desired conclusion to me, but – whatever; I suppose that ‘your mileage may vary’.

Again – I can’t categorically exclude that Trump is, indeed, in the pocket of the Russians – but these particular data points (like many other commonly discussed ones) just don’t provide any serious evidence in favour of that view. So far, what I see is mostly innuendo and dark hints. Of course, this is faciliated by Trump’s suspicious refusal to release his tax returns, and it seems plausible that he has something discrediting to hide; with someone like him, there can be lot of other possible reasons for such a thing.


David of Yreka 05.14.17 at 8:47 pm

There’s a difference between the stink of corruption and proof of corruption.
Proof would send people to jail. But in the USA it is very difficult to prove corruption.

But most of us vote with our gut. We don’t need proof; just the feeling. Proof could send people to jail, but the stink can legitimately cost elected officials their jobs and is a traditional basis for voting one way or another.

I cite as proof of the legitimacy of the gut approach to political persuasion the following catchphrases: Lock Her Up, and Crooked Hillary. I’m waiting to see updated versions of these.

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