The Panama Papers, a collection of files that have revealed the cloak and dagger banking strategies of the world’s elite, have two new names to add: Donald Trump and Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson. The Panama Papers have held a vindicated magnifying glass to the ever-increasing awareness of income equality, and Trump’s name appears 3,540 times.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ website makes it clear that just because an individual’s name is in the papers, it doesn’t mean they are guilty of any wrongdoing. “There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons … have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.” However, fraud and tax evasion are also prominent uses for offshore accounts.
Even if Trump’s dealings (as documented in the papers) are completely legal, his very association is ammunition that can be used against him in the upcoming general election. As Huffington Post points out, Trump has sold his name to many investors and is a business entity in itself, so as of right now, there’s nothing linking him with offshore accounts. (Until there is.)
Trump and Emma Watson (who probably wishes she had a Time-Turner right about now) join the ever-growing list of global elite whose names have popped up on the list. Vladimir Putin, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s father, and Saudi Arabian king Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud have all appeared to have offshore accounts. Iceland’s Prime Minister resigned shortly after his name was outed.
Could this spell doom for Trump? So far, he’s kept quiet. Emma Watson released a statement through her representatives:
“Emma (like many high-profile individuals) set up an offshore company for the sole purpose of protecting her anonymity and safety. Emma receives absolutely no tax or monetary advantages from this offshore company whatsoever — only privacy.”
(Via Huffington Post)