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Presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised in 2007 he would shed any investments that conflicted with Republican positions on hot-button domestic and foreign policy issues. But Romney's family trusts kept some of those holdings and repeatedly bought new ones until 2010, when they were finally sold off for more than $3 million, according to a detailed review of Romney's financial records by The Associated Press.

Recently disclosed tax returns for three family trust funds for Romney, his wife, Ann, and their adult children show scores of trades in companies whose business operations are inconsistent with Republican Party stances that Romney favors on Iran, China, stem cell research, abortion and other issues.

Huff Post

Via Political Wire

My emphasis.

See, it's not that he forgot. And it's not that it took a while to unwind the positions. SCORES OF TRADES means they were selling AND buying, trying to make money.

And if it's a blind trust (line of defense #1), how could you possibly make that promise in 2007?

Romney can set the general direction of his finances, Cooke and other tax experts said. Romney made that clear in August 2007, as he tried to quell a growing furor about his ownership of some stocks that clashed with Republican positions on Iran, China and other issues.

"The trustee of the blind trust has said publicly that he will endeavor to make my investments conform to my positions, and I have confidence that he will do that well," Romney said in 2007. The lawyer heading Romney's trust, R. Bradford Malt, had said earlier in 2007 that he was trying to eliminate conflicts between Romney's holdings and his policy positions.

Continue below the Orange Squiggle of Power.

So, Mitt, you like firing people. Are you going to fire R. Bradford Malt for this egregious failure to follow your clear instructions? Of course not. Because R. Bradford Malt is a longtime friend and personal attorney, and this trust is not even a little blind, is it? And replacing R. Bradford Malt would likely lead to the new trustee actually acting like a trustee is supposed to act.

You want us to trust you about your taxes, Mitt? Here is a rather clear piece of evidence that you can't be trusted to tell the truth about your financial dealings.

Stuff that Romney trusts continued to hold for years after he said he'd divest:
1) Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company that engages in limited use of stem cells for research.
2) Teva Pharmaceutical, an Israeli company that engages in stem cell research. Teva also manufactures "Plan B One-Step," the emergency contraceptive known as the "morning-after pill," which is opposed by anti-abortion groups.
3) Fresenius Medical Care, a German firm that also did stem cell work.
4) China, lots of stuff.

Romney's tax returns, which he released under pressure on Jan. 24, also described numerous recent stock trades in companies tied to the Chinese government or to its censorship and crackdown on free speech. As recently as October 2009, Romney's trusts were buying stock in companies like China Northshore Oil and China Merchants Holdings. More than 130 shares of the oil company were sold in late January 2010 for $19,000, along with 630 shares of China Merchants worth $21,000. The Chinese government has long incurred criticism for its tight control of the country's media and internet and for its suppression of dissent.

Shares of other Chinese assets that Romney's trust bought and sold in 2010 included the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Life Insurance and New Oriental Education, a company sued in 2003 by a U.S. firm for copyright infringement.

5) Iran, lots of stuff
BNP Paribas, a French bank with long-standing operations in Iran.
China North Oil, recently named by the Congressional Research Service as a likely violator of the Iran Sanctions Act, and in Intesa Sanpaolo, an Italian bank that has been under investigation by U.S. authorities for handling of Iranian funds. There were also trades in stock of Gazprom, Schlumberger, Komatsu and Unilever – all firms that have had business in or with Iran.
China, Iran, stem cells, morning-after pills - all from the one year of taxes Mitt has released. And all 3 years after he said he'd stop doing that sort of stuff.

No wonder he can't release more years of taxes. It would demonstrate that his God is Money and that he'll put money ahead of morality (as understood by the GOP base) every. single. time.

Originally posted to aardvark droppings on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 07:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Bain Files.

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