Republican nominee Donald Trump just admitted that in fact, an IRS audit over his constant financial impropriety is not the reason he’s not releasing his tax returns, as is expected of every presidential candidate. He just doesn’t want to.
In an interview with FOX News today, Trump announced he would release his tax returns if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton releases the rest of the emails that may have been deleted from her private server during her time as Secretary of State. “When is she going to release her emails? Let her release her emails and I’ll release my tax returns immediately.”
This, of course, is a significant deviation from his previous position – that he couldn’t release his tax returns because he’s being audited by the Internal Revenue Service, as he is every year. The IRS has stated multiple times that an audit has nothing to do with his ability to release the taxes, and that it’s very unusual for someone to be audited every single year – which points to some deep irregularities in Trump’s tax returns.
The content of those returns has been the subject of much speculation, but given Trump’s long history of tax evasion and political bribery, it doesn’t take much imagination to assume he’s committing some kind of fraud. He’s also suspected of accepting bribes from Russian oligarchs.
Secretary Clinton has released 32 years worth of tax returns – it’s high time Trump did the same. Trying to turn the issue into a “well I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” situation is obnoxiously juvenile and a clear admission that he won’t ever be releasing his returns. Such a disregard for electoral conventions is a rejection of the principle of transparency itself, which adds even more serious concerns to the mountain of disqualifiers surrounding Trump. If he won’t release his taxes as a candidate, one shudders to think at what a Trump White House would hide from the public.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.