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David Perdue is a crook

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Inside trading comes as naturally to him as voting to take away people’s healthcare:

Senator David Perdue, one of two Republican senators from Georgia facing runoff elections in January, began making large and ultimately profitable purchases of shares in a Navy contractor in 2018 just before taking over as chair of a Senate subcommittee overseeing the Navy fleet.

The disclosure, first reported Wednesday by The Daily Beast, comes as both Mr. Perdue and Georgia’s other senator, Kelly Loeffler, have been under fire for their stock trades.

Mr. Perdue, a millionaire and formerly a prolific trader of individual stocks, announced in May that he would divest from his large individual stock holdings after questions were raised about his well-timed purchases of Pfizer stock in February, after senators were briefed on the coronavirus threat.

At a debate last month, Mr. Perdue’s Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, called him a “crook” who sought to profit from the pandemic. Mr. Perdue has since twice refused to debate Mr. Ossoff.

Speaking of Republican crooks:

Among the revelations was that Mr. Trump reduced his taxable income by deducting about $26 million in fees to unidentified consultants as a business expense on numerous projects between 2010 and 2018.

Some of those fees appear to have been paid to Ms. Trump, The Times found. On a 2017 disclosure she filed when joining the White House as a presidential adviser, she reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, totaling $747,622, that exactly matched consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The subpoenas were focused on fees paid to the firm on her disclosures, TTT Consulting L.L.C., and represented just a portion of the $26 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The name of the firm appears to be a reference to Ms. Trump and other members of her family.

Ms. Trump was an executive officer of the Trump companies that made the payments, meaning she appears to have been treated as a consultant while also working for the company. While companies can deduct professional fees, the Internal Revenue Service requires that consulting arrangements be market-based and reasonable, as well as “ordinary and necessary” to running a business.

Random presidential trivia: the pardon power does not extend to state prosecutions.

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