Top Trump Attorney Jesse Binnall Is A Longtime Tax Failure
Former President Donald Trump and his top election fraud lawyer, Jesse Binnall, have a few things in common — both falsely believe that the election was stolen, they come into contact with a number of politicians. the worst conspiracy theories of the right and they frequently complain that they are the focus of a witch hunt. But another similarity came to light: Both men avoided paying taxes.
According to IRS filings, Binnall owes the U.S. government for unpaid taxes since 2010. The IRS filed a $139,242 lawsuit against Binnall nearly four years ago—in August 2018—and it includes the unpaid amount. paid each tax year from 2010 to 2015. Filing records with the City of Alexandria, VA, show that, as of May 5, Binnall has not paid off the mortgage.
Leslie Levin, an expert in the legal profession at the University of Connecticut School of Law, told The Daily Beast that if Binnall deliberately failed to file, he would be breaking the law and possibly violating legal codes of ethics. the law.
“That depends on why the lien was charged and why he hasn’t paid. If he refuses to file, it raises ethical issues. Levin said. “However, if he has a valid basis to check whether he owes money, then there is no ethical violation.”
Binnall told The Daily Beast that his failure to pay the government was a matter of financial flexibility.
“Like many small business owners, I used to have to be financially flexible as my business grew. That resulted in several tax bills that I had to arrange to pay over time, rather than all at once. Many business owners have been in a similar position,” says Binnall. “The unfortunate question is whether these problems really arise as a result of an effort to serve the public interest, or whether I am being targeted because of the clients I serve.”
Binnall, who regularly deals with bizarre allegations of election fraud, has no shortage of clients, and has handled many high-profile cases since before the mortgage order was introduced in 2018. For example, in In 2016, he represented former Senator Ron Paul (R-KY) aide Dimitri Kesari in a campaign finance lawsuit. Kesari was found guilty, and his accomplices were later pardoned by Trump — about two months after the then-president hired Binnall.
All told, Binnall’s most famous clients — the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee — have over the past 18 months paid his firm, Harvey & Binnall PLLC, about $1.4 million. legal fees. (The company transferred an unspecified portion of that amount to local partners in those cases.)
Binnall also defended a group involving conspiracy theorists Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood—known as “Defending the Republic, Inc”—in a $1.3 billion lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Powell last year. State and federal records also list him as an agent in rogue groups.
Binnall’s company advertises 10 areas of expertise, from alternative dispute resolution to appeals to white-collar advocacy. His own profile page notes other jobs, such as his position as chairman of the Parliamentary Strategy Committee, where he advises on “professional associations, political parties, candidates and others.” others” on a variety of issues.
In recent years, Binnall has also represented a number of other clients, some of which are well known. For example, last June he became the chief defense adviser to Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army, who is facing a series of lawsuits for allegedly ordering the the army tortures and kills civilians. That case is happening.
In addition, other entities linked to Binnall have had their tax-exempt status revoked for failing to file returns, federal and state filings show.
In 2015, Binnall helped found a nonprofit in Virginia called Americans for a Better Economy. That group lost its federal 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status in 2020, after failing to file a tax return for three years. He also served on the board of directors for the American Foundation for Law and Freedom (AFLL), whose federal tax-exempt status was cut last year, also for failing to file.
As is common with many hardline financial conservatives, Binnall displayed public hostility towards the IRS.
Last March, for example, Binnall so federal taxes on theft. And in October, about two months after the IRS posted the AFL recall notice, Binnall went public being attacked agent twice, untrue allegations that the agency aimed at conservatives. (The IRS’s bias toward conservative groups was the subject of an Obama-era scandal, but years later a full audit revealed the agency also targeted progressive groups. — and the IRS has never even revoked the tax-exempt status of a political group.)
Binnall said in his statement that these posts were just one part of his broader stream of thoughts.
“Regarding my statements on social media, I have consistently opposed all government organizations that target people on their political grounds. That certainly includes the IRS,” he said.
While top Trump lawyers have come and gone, Binnall has stepped into the void and has, so far, held firm. He received his first paycheck the day before the 2020 election and has expanded his service since.
Those services include promoting Trump’s Big Lie about a stolen election month after month in various courts and on social media. After receiving that first check, Binnall immediately began lying about voter fraud. At one point, he perjured – in testimony before the Senate – that 1,500 dead people voted in Nevada. (His vote-rigging activity in that state also likely violated privacy laws and U.S. Postal Service regulations, Salon reported.)
Binnall later understood that YouTube had taken a video of his Senate testimony, writing on Facebook that the video platform “decided that my opening statement (given under oath and based on on hard evidence) is too dangerous for you to see.”
And even after the January 6 uprising, Binnall continued spread false statements about voter fraud.
Levin, legal expert at UCONN, cautions against judging lawyers by the people they represent. Binnall’s behavior in those circumstances, she said, is what matters.
“If he misrepresents facts in court while representing his client, he may be subject to disciplinary action. Even false statements in court that he makes as an attorney for his client are subject to disciplinary action,” Levin said. Several MAGA-aligned attorneys have been punished for falsely promoting election fraud — including Binnall’s clients Powell and Wood.
But in addition to collecting it for legal services, Binnall can also exploit it. The parents of a former client sued him in Virginia state court for fraud and negligence, for $2,550,000, after paying Binnall $336,000 – more than double his federal rights – to protect their son in a child sexual exploitation case. The lawsuit alleges that Binnall failed to tell his client, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence, that Assistant United States Attorneys had proposed a plea agreement.
“If he doesn’t tell his client about a potential deal, that’s very serious,” says Levin. “The client can decide whether or not to accept a plea, and that is obviously not possible if the attorney never informed of the plea offer.”
Binnall called the lawsuit “frivolous”, possibly punishing him.
“The lawsuit against my company and I is legally and factually baseless. We not only hope to win the case, but also seek sanctions against the plaintiff and their attorney for bringing a one-sided lawsuit,” he said.
Michael Teter, executive director of Project 65, a group aimed at holding lawyers accountable who fueled the January 6 uprising and spread election fraud, says the pervasive of the allegations against Binnall, if true, raise ethical concerns.
Teter told The Daily Beast, listing requirements that attorneys be honest with the court, avoid fraudulent or illegal conduct, and notify clients of proposed guilty pleas.
“It appears that Mr Binnall’s spreading lies and untruths in court about the 2020 election is not the only time he has breached the code of professional conduct and that attorneys must review all complaints. complaints against him very seriously,” he said.
While many Trump-affiliated attorneys have been challenged with claims at the bar, including some of Binnall’s clients, none have been reported against Binnall.
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