December 26, 2019

Of course, there's no way an honorable man like Chris Christie would ever have cut some kind of improper deal with a con man like Donald Trump! (nudge nudge, wink wink), but the New York Times thought it was worth a look:

By the time Chris Christie became governor of New Jersey, the state’s auditors and lawyers had been battling for several years to collect long-overdue taxes owed by the casinos founded by his friend Donald J. Trump.

The total, with interest, had grown to almost $30 million. The state had doggedly pursued the matter through two of the casinos’ bankruptcy cases and even accused the company led by Mr. Trump of filing false reports with state casino regulators about the amount of taxes it had paid.

But the year after Governor Christie, a Republican, took office, the tone of the litigation shifted. The state entertained settlement offers. And in December 2011, after six years in court, the state agreed to accept just $5 million, roughly 17 cents on the dollar of what auditors said the casinos owed.

Here's the thing: States do write down taxes when it seems unlikely they can collect. But this much, especially from a man who claims to be a multi-billionaire? Sure seems like Chris Christie offered Trump some special treatment.

“You can’t tell whether there’s something problematic, but it’s pretty striking that this one was written down so much,” said David Skeel, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School who specializes in bankruptcy law and reviewed the case at the request of The New York Times.

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