The following FOIA request has been sent to the IRS requesting the tax returns of President-elect Donald Trump. Because the IRS doesn’t typically produce individual tax returns, I have set forth in the letter the overriding public interest in producing these returns. This is the letter that was faxed on Nov. 21, 2016, and sent certified mail, return receipt requested on the same day:
FIOA Request Sent by:
And Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested
#7015 1520 0003 5696 1991
IRS FOIA Request
PO Box 621506
Atlanta, GA 30362-3006
November 21, 2016
Dear Disclosure Manager:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
I request that a copy of the following documents be provided to me. I do not wish to inspect the documents first. In order to determine my status for the applicability of fees, you should know that I am an individual and write a blog at Malia Litman@wordpress.com. I do not receive any compensation for my work in writing for the blog and the information requested will be made available to the public at no expense to any taxpayer who wishes to read. This request is being made for the purpose of educating the public about a possible conflict of interest within the Office of the President after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
As proof of identity I am including a photocopy of my driver’s license.
I am willing to pay any appropriate fees associated for this request. If you estimate that the fees will exceed $1000.00, please inform me first.
The timing for your response to this request is critical, as President-elect Trump is scheduled to be inaugurated January 20, 2017, so any potential conflicts of interest would be present from that day forward. Please expedite processing of this request and produce the requested documents as soon as possible.
The documents requested are as follows:
The tax returns filed by Donald John Trump for years 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012.
Please be advised that I am well aware of Exemption 6 which would normally protect the privacy interest of the average American who has an expectation of privacy. However:
(1) Because Donald John Trump is the President-elect there is no longer any legitimate expectation of privacy.
(2) Donald John Trump waived any expectation of privacy by running for President and/or winning the election.
(3) Donald John Trump has asserted that his children will run his businesses but those same children are on Mr. Trump’s transition team. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/14/giuliani-says-trump-cant-do-a-blind-trust-because-it-would-basically-put-his-children-out-of-work/)
(4) 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 IT IS CRUCIAL TO THE AMERICAN TAX PAYERS THAT THERE BE TRANSPARENCY IN DONALD TRUMP’S FINANCIAL MATTERS.
(5)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.” https://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/foia-and-donald-trump-frinformsum-11182016/
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.
(6) The Washington Post‘s David Farenthold has reported that Donald Trump, after having made an illegal contribution from his “foundation” to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, has now added her to his transition team – already full of lobbyists – making his purchase of Bondi complete. http://www.politicususa.com/2016/11/11/proof-corrupt-regime-come-trump-adds-pam-bondi-transition-team.html
(7) For all the reasons set forth herein, the public interest in Donald John Trump’s tax returns presents the very type of public interest that mandates disclosure of the financial interests of Mr. Trump.
Thank you for giving this request the attention it deserves.
Malia A. Litman
I will keep you apprised of the government’s response. If there was ever an “over-riding public interest” I think this is it!