Thursday, April 03, 2008

Clinton Tax Returns: Evidence of Crimes Unseen

ABC anticipates Clinton tax returns to see offshore income

David Edwards and Nick Juliano

Sen. Barack Obama's tax returns have been online for a little more than a week now, but reporters, political rivals and opposition researchers are still licking their chops at the chance to dig into the IRS filings of his opponent Hillary Clinton.

Financial disclosure documents already filed by the New York senator show she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have made at least $50 million since leaving the White House in 2001. ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross takes an early crack at divining what details may be revealed from the Clinton's tax returns, which her campaign has said will be released within the next two weeks.

The tax returns, Ross says, "will answer a lot of questions about how they made so much and whether they paid their taxes like average Americans -- or the like the super rich they've become."

Citing Hillary Clinton's campaign stump pledges to end tax breaks for wealthy Americans, Ross looks at the six-, seven- and eight-figure sums Bill Clinton has reaped since his term ended.

Among those are a reported $20 million payout Clinton is expected to receive for severing business ties with billionaire grocery store magnate Ron Burkle. The former president also has made $47 million on a speaking tour, raking in up to several hundred thousand dollars per speech, Ross reports.

Another source of mystery in the Clinton financial world is the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton's charity that has fought AIDS in Africa, promoted sustainable development, built the Clinton Presidential Library and sent the former president around the globe as a goodwill ambassador. USA Today, in an editorial distributed by the Obama campaign, called for the Clinton Foundation donors, who include foreign governments and have pledged more than $500 million, to be made public.

Whether the foundation's donor rolls ever see the light of day is another matter, but Clinton's campaign has said it is preparing her tax returns for imminent release. A spokesman tells Ross the former president and his wife "pay full US taxes at the ordinary income tax rates."

But, Ross observes, "with taxes, the devil is in the details, and the proof of what they really pay will come when the Clintons finally make public their tax returns."

This video is from ABC's Good Morning America, broadcast April 3, 2008.

Original article posted here.

No comments: