TRUMP ACCUSED OF TAX SCHEMES… A New York Times report published yesterday claims President Trump engaged in “dubious” tax schemes and “outright” fraud during the 1990s in an attempt to increase his parents’ wealth. An investigation found $413 million of the funds were later transferred to Trump himself. Alleged schemes included Trump and his siblings forming a fake corporation to hide financial gifts, Trump helping his father illegally claim millions in tax deductions, and Trump leading his parents to undervalue their real-estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars when filing tax returns. The Times found that Trump’s parents gave more than $1 billion to their children, which could have been taxed at a rate of 55 percent, or $550 million. Instead, it was taxed at about 5 percent, and the Trumps only paid $52.5 million. The Associated Press reported that the New York Tax Department is “reviewing” the allegations outlined in the Times report and is “vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation.”
McCONNELL SAYS KAVANAUGH REPORT WON’T BE PUBLIC… Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared yesterday that the FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh won’t be made public. Instead, McConnell said, each U.S. senator would get a copy of the report. McConnell also reiterated that he expected a vote on Kavanaugh in the full Senate this week. Meanwhile, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has called for the FBI to brief senators on its investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh at least 24 hours before a vote on the U.S. Supreme Court nominee.
RICIN LETTER SENT TO PENTAGON… Pentagon officials announced last night that two envelopes suspected of containing ricin were discovered Monday at a mail-screening facility and turned them over to the FBI for further analysis. One envelope was reportedly addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the other to Navy Admiral John Richardson. Officials emphasized that neither envelope entered the Pentagon.
FOUR WHITE SUPREMACISTS ARRESTED FOR ROLES IN RIOT… The Justice Department announced yesterday that four members of a militant white supremacist group from California were arrested for their role in the white-nationalist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year. Federal authorities say the four men traveled to the event last year to incite a riot and attack counterprotesters. A criminal complaint alleges the four men are members or associates of a California-based “militant white-supremacist organization” known as the Rise Above Movement.
FLORENCE DEATH TOLL RISES… The deaths of two people in North Carolina has raised the overall death toll from Hurricane Florence to 51. 39 of the deaths have been recorded in North Carolina, according to Governor Roy Cooper. Florence is blamed for nine deaths in South Carolina. State officials in Virginia say three people there died as a result of the storm.
ARRESTS IN CELEBRITY BURGLARIES… Los Angeles police announced the arrests yesterday of three men, ages 18 and 19, and one man’s mother people accused in a series of burglaries that targeted the homes of celebrities and athletes. Victims included Rihanna, Christina Milian, baseball player Yasiel Puig and football player Robert Woods. Investigators say they found a list of additional targets that included LeBron James and actors Viola Davis and Matt Damon. According to a police spokesman, the victims were chosen when their social media postings and schedules indicated they would be away from home.
ANSEL ELGORT TO STAR IN ‘WEST SIDE STORY‘… Ansel Elgort has agreed to star in director Steven Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of “West Side Story.” Elgort, who is best known for his work in the 2017 film “Baby Driver,” will portray Tony. As a member of the Jets, he falls in love with Maria, whose brother is the leader of the rival gang, the Sharks. Production is scheduled to begin in summer.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD CARD…
Colorado 2 – CHI. CUBS 1 (13 innings)… The Rockies broke a tie with three straight two-out singles in the top of the 13th inning and held on to outlast the Cubs in the National League wild-card game. Tony Wolters singled home Trevor Story with the decisive run. Nolan Arenado’s sacrifice fly scored Charlie Blackmon in the first. Reliever Scott Oberg struck out the side for the final three outs to record the save. Colorado advances to battle the Brewers in the National League Division Series beginning Thursday in Milwaukee.
AL WILD CARD GAME TODAY… The Oakland Athletics visit the New York Yankees in today’s AL Wild Card game. Reliever Liam Hendriks (0-1, 4.13 ERA during the regular season) gets the start for Oakland. He’ll become the first Australian ever to start a postseason game and only the fourth pitcher to start a postseason game without winning a game during the regular season. Fellow righthander Luis Severino (19-8, 3.39 ERA) takes the mound for New York. First pitch is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. and the game airs on TBS.