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They’re Coming For Your Taxes, Donnie

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They’re Coming For Your Taxes, Donnie

Trump tax returns

It’s almost April 15 and the American people want Donald Trump’s receipts.

On the second Saturday in April, organizers are planning marches in Washington, D.C. and dozens of other cities across the U.S. to call on the president to release his tax returns. Given the improving weather and polls that suggest that about 3 out of 4 Americans want to see Donnie’s tax returns, these marches will likely mark the second largest protests of the new, but seemingly endless, Trump Administration.

House Republicans have blocked five recent efforts from the Democratic side of the aisle to force the release of Trump’s returns — the latest being a party-line vote in the House Ways and Means Committee against a measure that would have directed the Treasury Department to provide the lower house of Congress with his returns, along with other financial information from the president.


That’s the question I keep asking myself, considering that even many Republican voters continue to tell pollsters that they want more transparency (and less tweeting) from the Commander-in-Tweet.

GOP “media guy” and compulsive Trump critic Rick Wilson keeps trying to remind his fellow Republicans of the possibly irreparable consequences of standing by a president who at least seems content to appear as if he is hiding multiple cancers on his presidency.

“In 1974, the GOP lost 49 House and 8 Senate seats,” Wilson tweeted. “They were branded as defending a corrupt, criminal Presidency.”

So why not try to get ahead of the crooked curve a bit and say you’re doing it because you’re sure the president has nothing to hide? Then, either way, you made the right call. Heck, you could even note that you’re just getting on board with a promise that Trump made dozens of times during the campaign.

Richard Painter was the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush Administration from 2005 to 2007. Currently, he’s the vice chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and teaches law at the University of Minnesota/Twin Cities, where he will be a speaker at Tax March MN, calling for an end to dark money in politics in addition to the tax documents from Trump that every president since Richard Nixon has released.

I asked Professor Painter why nearly all elected Republicans refuse to join the American people in demanding basic transparency. His answer is simple: Fear.

“They don’t want to get a primary challenge,” he told me.

It’s a fear that’s grounded in reality.

Trump’s social media guru unabashedly called for a primary challenge of Freedom Caucus member Rep. Justin Amash on Saturday. And Rep. Mark Sanford told The Post and Courier of Charleston that Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, came to him and said, “‘The president asked me to look you square in the eyes and to say that he hoped that you voted ‘no’ on [the American Health Care Act] so he could run [a primary challenger] against you in 2018.”

Coincidentally, Sanford is one of two House Republicans who have publicly called for Trump to release his tax returns.

Painter told me that the fear is visible on Capitol Hill.

“Last Thursday, they had a hearing on some other government transparency issues,” he told me. “The minute I start bringing up Trump, and the Democrats were asking me questions, the Republicans were all ducking out of the hearing. They had three separate Republicans handle the gavel just to chair this thing. None of them wanted to be in the room. They don’t want to argue with me. Not a single Republican wanted to argue with me about a single thing I had to say about Trump.”

And Painter has had a lot to say about Trump.

In a Los Angeles Times‘ op-ed, he explained exactly why Trump’s returns are so crucial to finding out who the president might be beholden to, including foreign interests. He believes that in addition to using its subpoena powers to get Trump’s tax returns, Congress should amend Form 278, which is required of all presidential candidates, “to require more disclosure of debts, capital infusions and revenues of corporations, LLCs and other entities controlled by high-ranking office holders,” who are subject to conflict of interest laws.

Only Republicans currently have the power to subpoena Trump’s tax returns and the professor believes that pressure on GOP reps back in their districts as the 2018 election nears may result in increasing, yet quiet, calls for an independent investigation and even a possible demand for Trump’s returns.

Painter is also part of the legal team suing Trump over violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. But that level of corruption is minor compared to what he thinks the president or his associates may be hiding when it comes to possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, which he believes could be the biggest scandal in American politics in at least half a century.

“This scandal is much more dangerous than Watergate because Watergate didn’t involve foreign adversaries conducting spying activities in the United States,” he told me. “That was a break-in by some low-class burglars who weren’t even any good at being burglars, whereas the break-in here at the DNC was a very sophisticated operation.”

The release of Trump’s tax returns would indicate that the president takes this scandal seriously instead of going into what Painter calls “coverup mode.”

Transparency is the demand and Painter believes it’s necessary for politics to help ordinary people.

“I’m concerned with the ethics of this administration,” he told me, when I asked why he decided to participate in the march. “I’m concerned with the ethics of Washington in general. We need to get the campaign finance system cleaned up because that affects both political parties.”

But first we have the small matter of figuring out if the president or anyone around him might have committed some high crimes and/or misdemeanors.

“There is some evidence that there was somebody in the United States collaborating with the Russians at the time the Russians were conducting a spying activity and then selectively disseminating some of the information they discovered through Wikileaks. And there were some Americans, apparently, who were collaborating with that,” he told me. “I do describe that as treason.”

These are serious charges. And Trump continues to fuel the speculation by acting is if he has more to hide in his tax returns than Al Capone ever did.







  1. Sand_Cat April 3, 2017

    A corrupt and grossly dishonest party defending a corrupt and grossly dishonest administration. Nothing new here.

    1. FT66 April 3, 2017

      Majority demand to see Trump’s Tax Returns. Those republicans who are defending him now might not do themselves any favor. They will come to regret come 2018, why didn’t they stand firm and support what the majority want.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker April 3, 2017

        FT, Most of the Republicans who still support Trump are as guilty of collusion as he is. They knew since last August Russians were hacking. In November, Mitch McConnell exited a Senate meeting and was asked what he, as Majority Leader of the Senate planned to do about it. He said and I quote,”We will let things take their course.”

        The Republicans own this. They just are not man enough to OWN UP to it.

        1. FT66 April 3, 2017

          You are quite right Eleanore, it seems republicans have lost their mind and don’t take time to sit down and think anymore. Here is a very good example: Yesterday I had a very good discussion with my republican friends about the pick of a new Justice on the bench. We all agreed that so long as they are 4 by 4 now, this time a pick must be someone who is very neutral, doesn’t fall to any side, neither right nor left. That will make the Supreme Court function very efficiently to everybody. There is no need of thinking of someone to replace the late Scalia. It is impossible the man can’t be replaced forever. Thats the reality.

          1. Eleanore Whitaker April 4, 2017

            That is precisely what Senator Charles Schumer suggested. That the “parties come together” and choose a “candidate” they can both accept for the next 40 years he will sit on the bench.

            When Iistened to the Gorsuch hearing, there was at least three times when he dodged questions that are hugely important. The one question asked by the Senator from HI was if Gorsuch considered meddling into elections by a foreign government an attack on Constitutional rights. He dodged that question by saying he would need to have “more information” about the actual meddling.

            That was only the first question that was disturbing. His attitude towards women’s rights is another. He seemed to answer the question about Planned Parenthood in a way that had him sitting on a fence. In other words, if a case came up regarding Planned Parenthood, he has the option of voting against anything that gives women more choice.

            I have to admit I never trusted Scalia or, for that matter, Thomas. These days, Thomas sits there on the bench like a lump.

            The SC is the last bastion of voice of all Americans. We cannot afford the luxury of allowing someone on that court who will only do the bidding of the Republican Party. Law is not ever supposed to be viewed through the prism of politics.

    2. 1standlastword April 3, 2017

      If 2018 doesn’t bring dramatic, profound and remarkable GOP defeats all over the land then the People’s democracy will be gone into a long sunset that might be permanent.

      And worse…we will have fallen victim to Putin!!!!!

  2. FireBaron April 3, 2017

    “Lock HIM up!”

    1. itsfun April 3, 2017

      Would you put him in a cell next to Hillary and Obama?

      1. Eleanore Whitaker April 3, 2017

        Prove it assface. Prove that anything Hillary or Obama have done are remotely illegal. Can’t can you moron?

        But, we already know that Trump has had hundreds of lawsuits, some for rape of underage girls and the FinCEN U.S. Treasury fine of $25 million for money laundering.

        Do you ever tell the truth or does your wife get so sick of your lies that she keeps her distance like Trump’s siblings?

        The only reason his kids hang close is for his money. You have none. All you have is a keyboard Putin pays you to troll social media sites with your fake news hate.

      2. ray April 3, 2017

        fckyou go back to Russia comrade.

        1. Eleanore Whitaker April 3, 2017

          Thank you Ray. Itsy has been one of the longest running Putin trolls. All Itsy and the Putineskas know is trying to smear Hillary and Obama.

          Now that all of us can spot these Putin trolls, their bite is only in Trump’s lard ass.

        2. itsfun April 3, 2017

          What a wonderful example of intelligence you just made. Do you have any more wonderful gems or is your filthy language just a sign of a weak mind trying to express itself?

          1. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 3, 2017

            You don’t get to insult other people’s intelligence. You’re a conspiracy theorist, and – again – you are so dumb that you denied written evidence that you were wrong for HOURS before fleeing in shame.

          2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 3, 2017

            Plus, of course, you actually ARE a Russia-supporting turncoat.

          3. ray April 4, 2017

            comrade have a nice day.

          4. itsfun April 4, 2017

            I will comrade

      3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 3, 2017

        No–he belongs in a cell next to some guy who goes by the name “itsfun”, right next to Putin and other cohorts.

        Enjoying Trump’s debacle? The blast in St. Petersburg, though unfortunate, is what happens when Putin and his minions disturb geopolitical “hornets’ nests.

        Have a nice day, chum.

      4. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 3, 2017

        No, next a cell containing criminals.

        I mean, I get that you think your take is relevant, but you’re SO STUPID that you refused to admit the FBI was part of the DOJ even when the org chart was posted.

    2. Daisy April 3, 2017

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    3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 3, 2017

      Poetic Justice would be most appropriate RIGHT NOW!

  3. Mama Bear April 3, 2017

    My guess is that, as usual, absolutely nothing will happen or change with this current administration. He is being allowed to get away with things that would have put Obama in prison.

    1. Eleanore Whitaker April 3, 2017

      MB…The one real clue was what Comey publicly stated a month ago, “We are doing a criminal investigation.”

      You can guess who the criminal is. There is NO WAY Trump gets out of his links to Putin. Here’s why.

      The most recent Senate investigation deposed Clinton Watts, a former FBI agent stated in the hearing which was on CSpan, that Putin not only hacked into the DNC presidential election but also the primaries so that Rubio would lose to Trump.

      Itsy and CPA are not going to ever admit they worship the devil. So for them, any evil is good. Greed is good. Theft is good. Lying is good and Trump is their hero.

      The problem for Trump is that he assumes he has the right to secrecy in his decision making as president. NO he does not. Our taxes are the voices that refuse him that privilege.

      He and Bannon may try to pull that Bush/Cheney “extraordinary executive privilege” to try and get out of being deposed before an FBI and Senate investigation, but it won’t get them off. Bush and Cheney were supoenaed by the FBI to appear in a private session that went public.

      As for Trump destroying any of the documents, that too is useless. President Obama had Trump’s number and knew that was exactly what a lying, low class thug like Trump would do.

  4. 788eddie April 3, 2017

    I’m a registered Republican; always have been.

    I want to see the tax returns of Donald J. Trump. If every other candidate and President in modern times has released his ((or her) tax returns, then why not Trump? None of my Republican friends/associates have been able to give me any reason why not.

    I want to know if there are any “problems” or possible conflicts of interest that may be happening.

    Doesn’t everyone?

    Where are the “patriotic” voices on this issue?

    1. stcroixcarp April 3, 2017

      I grew up in a republican household. Where is that Grand Old Party? I don’t recognize the crooks and zealots that have taken over the party.

      1. 788eddie April 3, 2017

        A lot of us are feeling that way, stcroixcarp. I wouldn’t be surprised if the GOP gradually kills itself off.

  5. Joan April 3, 2017

    I do not understand why they would be fearable of holding Trump accountable to historic norms. They are frightened of badly spelled mean tweets? They are frightened of a primary challenge from an administration that seems unable to staff themselves? Trump’s supporters are a minority that is getting smaller by the hour; the only power he has is that of the bully.
    As ideologically opposed to the Freedom Caucus as I am, at least they have shown some backbone. Kudos to them for a willingness to stand on “principals”. We have apparently over 200 grown people frightened out of doing their job by an old, fat, orange guy with a bad weave who cheats at golf and mean tweets in the morning. Now, that’s “GREAT!

  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 3, 2017

    Each day that passes with the GOP not having the courage to put an end to its childish infatuation with having seized power is an extra burden they have to shoulder in their obstinate attitude.
    Trump is sitting on dynamite, too lethargic to move, and Steve Bannon and the GOP sit with him. There are far more serious events to occur, both here and abroad. I say that based on the logic of what happens when we insist on clinging to error and immorality.

  7. Rain April 3, 2017

    My guess is that: 1) Trump’s financial condition is not what he has stated it to be, 2) He ran for President to benefit his personal flagging fortunes, 3) He has not payed taxes for many years.

    1. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 3, 2017

      Those are barely even guesses, tbh. There’s never been a worse person at keeping secrets than President No Puppet.

    2. itsfun April 4, 2017

      Didn’t you see the one released by Rachel? He paid a high percent of his income in taxes.

      1. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

        That isn’t true, of course.

    3. Rain April 4, 2017

      If I recall correctly, those were tax returns from 2005.

  8. Taylor Harris April 4, 2017

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  9. itsfun April 4, 2017

    The returns we have seen, show President Trump paid a higher % of his income than Obama. This is just another made up non-issue by the losers on the left. Why doesn’t the National Memo have articles on the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign and unmasking by Rice?

    1. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

      Yes, the tiny section of one tax return that he deliberately leaked mean we don’t have to investigate all the corruption and treason. And then the conspiracy theories about Obama!

      Why do you hate the rule of law, faketriot?


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