Release of tax returns by Presidential candidates is not associated with a Republican or Democrat candidate. Instead it is something candidates from both parties do in an effort to provide relevant and informative information. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders released their returns. Even Tim Kane and Mike Pence released their returns. In fact every Republican who ran during the last nine Presidential cycles has released their returns.
Yet Trump refused …and continues to refuse to release his returns. His excuse is an an IRS audit. Presidential candidates are not required to release tax returns, but the information helps the public vet a candidate’s finances, revealing information such as charitable giving, investments and the tax rate he pays. The IRS has said recently that an audit does not bar a person from releasing their own tax information.
In a May 15 interview with Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus,Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace noted that it’s become customary over the past several decades for presidential candidates to release their tax returns. Mr. Priebus has been appointed as the Chief of Staff of Donald Trump. Thus, Trump’s own Chief of Staff has indicated that Trump has deviated from the customary practice of presidential candidates. Now that Trump is the President-elect, it is more critical than ever that his person tax returns be produced. The potential for a conflict of interest is only one of the many reasons that there be transparency in Donald Trump’s financial matters.
In fact, the Conflict of Interest of Donald Trump and his children has already been established through Freedom of Information Act Disclosures.
“Documents obtained through a Freedom Of Information Act request reveal that the conflicts on interest run deep as President-Elect Donald Trump has been using government contracts to enrich the very children that he now wants national security clearance for.”
According to Unredacted: the national security archive, “Documents won three months ago in response to a FOIA appeal show that during Donald Trump’s re-development of the taxpayer-owned Old Post Office building in downtown D.C. into a luxury hotel, Trump “funneled money to his children through separate companies bearing each of the children’s names, and the document indicates that those companies did not invest money. Nevertheless, their stakes could earn the children a big chunk of any profits generated from the taxpayer-owned site.”
The arrangement that the president-elect is proposing is ripe for conflict of interest problems. Trump wants the same kids who have already been enriched by government contracts to have national security clearance, and also run the Trump Organization.
Trump never disclosed to voters during the campaign that he funneled money to his kids through government contracts, and it is fairly easy to connect the dots and see that as president, Trump would have total power to continue this arrangement.
This is sort of thing that happens in authoritarian regimes. It is not supposed to happen in the United States of America. The stage is potentially being set for Trump to use the White House for personal profit and enrichment.
The point is that the conflicts of interest aren’t limited to the next president.
Voters may have sent an entire corrupt family enterprise of tangled conflicts of interest to the White House.
The consequences of this decision may get ugly very quickly for the American people.