Chicago Official Who Helped Trump with Taxes Has His Office Raided
Action by federal agents happens the same day attorney Michael Cohen struck a plea deal with Robert Mueller
Chicago Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke had his office raided by federal officials on Thursday. It’s a notable move, since Burke previously did tax work for President Donald Trump.
The federal agents removed everyone from Burke’s city hall office while conducting the morning raid.
They then covered the office’s floor-to-ceiling windows with brown paper, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. An official in the office reportedly declined to comment at the time.
“Our agents are executing search warrants at multiple locations today,” a spokesman for the FBI office in Chicago later told LifeZette. “We have no further comment.”
Burke worked for Trump for more than a decade doing property tax work.
Klafter & Burke LLC, his law firm, has worked with his companies repeatedly to reduce the tax burden on some of his properties in Chicago.
Trump built up a large real estate and hotel empire before becoming president.
Burke allegedly was able to cut the property taxes on the downtown Trump Tower by more than $14 million, reported The Hill and The Chicago Sun-Times.
The relationship faltered this summer when Burke stopped working for the president. He cited irreconcilable differences as the reason they stopped working together in letters filed with the Illinois State Property Tax Appeal Board.
Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for the president, admitted to lying to lawmakers in federal court on the same day as well.
Cohen signed a plea deal in federal court saying he lied about how he discussed a proposed business project in Moscow with the president.
Source says feds showed up this am, asked everyone to leave and put brown paper on the doors. pic.twitter.com/4qJBwzoKF4
— Fran Spielman (@fspielman) November 29, 2018
Special counsel Robert Mueller offered the plea deal as part of his longtime probe into whether or not the president or his associates colluded with Russian interests during the November 2016 election. Cohen previously claimed the talks about the Moscow project had ended prior to the 2016 election’s ramping up.
Trump responded to the plea deal shortly afterward by calling his former lawyer “weak.” He pointed out that Cohen was already charged with crimes unrelated to his business and that he’s just trying to get a reduced sentence.
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges after surrendering to the special counsel team on August 21.
Trump, along with some lawmakers, have raised doubts about the special counsel’s investigation. They’ve pointed to texts by former agents on the team and the seemingly political nature of the investigation as signs of severe bias against the president. Trump echoed some of his complaints in a tweet on Thursday morning before the raid and plea deal.
“Did you ever see an investigation more in search of a crime?” Trump tweeted.
“At the same time, Mueller and the Angry Democrats aren’t even looking at the atrocious, and perhaps subversive, crimes that were committed by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. A total disgrace!”
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