Israeli-U.S.businessman Pledges $1m to Charity if Trump Releases Tax Returns

Moishe Mana said he would make the donation to the charity of Trump's choice if he discloses his last five years of returns by August 15.

Sarah Tricker

An Israeli-American real estate developer, Moishe Mana, has pledged to donate $1 million to the charity of Donald Trump's choice if the Republican presidential candidate discloses his last five years of tax returns, The Hill reported earlier this week. Mana said he is not optimistic that Trump will take him up on the offer.

"Mana's is only the latest effort to pressure Trump into releasing his tax returns," the Washington-based political website reported. "In July, Clinton ally David Brock said an anonymous Republican donor was prepared to donate $5 million to a veterans charity if Trump publicized his tax returns by July 15. Trump did not act on the offer."

The Hill reported that Mana had donated to both the Republican and Democratic parties but has come out in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and donated $33,400 to the Democratic National Committee earlier this year. He has also vowed to cut a "six figure check" for Clinton in August, The Hill said.

In a 1988 profile of Mana and his company Moishe's Moving and Storage, the New York Times reported that he arrived in the United States from Israel after dropping out of Tel Aviv University Law School and at one point lived in an abandoned Brooklyn building and sold merchandise on the streets of Manhattan. ''Israel was too small for me,'' he told the Times.

By the late 1980s, the Times said, Mana's moving company had revenues of $12 million. Now a real estate developer, Mana told The Hill he now does business in both New York and Miami.

"Mana said the public has become complacent over what he sees as Trump's lack of transparency," The Hill reported, adding that the Israeli-American expressed major concerns over Trump's rhetoric. “It’s comfortable for us because he’s against Muslims today,” Mana said referring to Jews. “We always feel that nothing will happen to us, but it can come to us like a tsunami, and he opened a very dangerous door."

The Hill noted that Trump has said he cannot release his returns because he is being audited by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, but the political website also quoted an IRS spokesman as saying that nothing prevents Trump from releasing the returns even during the audit. Trump reiterated at a Florida news conference on Wednesday that he would release the documents when the audit is complete.

“I’m not such a big fan of Hillary Clinton," Mana told The Hill. "I’m not in love with her, but today I see her as the savior. She’s the only thing left between us and Trump.”