Early Thursday morning, associates at Alderman Ed Burke’s City Hall office in Chicago were asked to leave by federal authorities, as they raided the offices, putting up brown paper on all the windows so that onlookers could not see inside.
Little is known yet about this developing story in terms of what authorities are searching for. However, plenty is known about the relationship Burke’s firm held for 12 years with Donald Trump, having been discontinued over a political rivalry around 6 months ago.
Burke handled Trump’s property tax liabilities, successfully reducing the amount that Trump paid the City of Chicago — the location of the largest Trump Tower, almost twice the size of his building in Manhattan — by more than $14 million. That makes the image from the front of Edward Burke today all the more jarring in the context of his association with Trump:
The development, should it be connected to the myriad of developments occurring today involving Michael Cohen, the ongoing Russia probe, the raid of Deutsche Bank, and the President’s last-minute cancellation of a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 — despite calling it a “very good time to meet” just an hour beforehand — could indicate a direction that Mueller’s Special Counsel is leaning toward in pursuit of the President.
At the very least, it is leading many to speculate that Mueller’s aim will be tax evasion and possibly ultimately RICO charges if the Trump Organization’s tax records on file with Burke are scanned for the full 12 years he was a client.
Even if the investigation by federal agents is specific to Chicago, Trump has plenty of malfeasance in the Windy City for them to examine, including his ongoing failure to meet federal regulations from the EPA regarding Trump Tower and how his property tax assessments may have been falsified based on projections that he had met those standards.
The dissolution of the relationship between Burke and Trump could open the door to another cooperation agreement with the special counsel and suggests that not only is Mueller already in possession of Trump’s extended tax returns but that he has been for months.
This story is developing, and we will update as necessary.
Featured image via screen capture