Skip to content
CityLab
Government

Did AOC’s Questions on Trump’s Real Estate Valuations Unlock His Tax Returns?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grilled Michael Cohen on the real estate dealings of Donald Trump. Cohen’s replies may open access to Trump's elusive tax returns.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens as the lawyer Michael Cohen appears before the U.S. Congress to answer questions.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens as the lawyer Michael Cohen appears before the U.S. Congress to answer questions.Alex Brandon/AP

In The New York Times, Caroline Fredrickson, the president of the American Constitution Society, declared that freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “won the Cohen hearing.“ Instead of grandiose political posturing, Ocasio-Cortez used her time to ask a series of sharp, succinct questions of Michael Cohen, former lawyer and fixer to President Donald Trump, that uncovered leads for further investigation into his potentially illegal financial practices—including tax fraud that may have helped him skimp on local property taxes.

Citing a 2016 report in The Washington Post, which found dramatic discrepancies between what Trump reported his golf courses were worth to the Federal Election Commission and what his lawyers pushed them to be valued for tax purposes, Ocasio-Cortez asked Cohen whether the president “was interested in reducing” his local tax bill and, if so, how he did that.