Senate Democrats are at Trump’s throat for his tax returns. So far, Trump is the only candidate who has run for office that has yet to release the documents. Hillary released her’s, but who can trust those documents? She is known for deleting the important stuff.
Senate Democrats on Thursday called on Donald Trump to release his tax returns, saying the Republican nominee’s refusal to do so constituted evidence he was “ethically compromised” and perhaps unfit to serve as president.
Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate leader who in 2012 famously accused Mitt Romney of not having paid taxes for 10 years, said Trump was “misleading the American people” by bucking decades of tradition regarding the release of tax returns by presidential candidates.
“And that is a gross understatement,” Reid told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “The American people deserve and respect that any leader of the free world be transparent … but Trump doesn’t do it, because he doesn’t respect the office he is seeking or the American people.”
Trump has declined to release his tax returns, citing an audit by the Internal Revenue Service which in fact does not legally mean returns cannot be released.
Last week, his son Donald Trump Jr made a different excuse, saying releasing the documents would “distract” from the candidate’s message.
Senate Democrats are seeking to force Trump’s hand by pushing legislation that would require presidential nominees to release their tax returns.
Republicans blocked the effort on the floor last week, and asked in return that the bill be amended to include a provision that would revoke security clearances for federal employees who demonstrated “extreme carelessness” in handling classified information. A reference to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, it was blocked by Democrats.
Trump’s reluctance to make public his tax returns has nonetheless drawn scrutiny from both political parties. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, the Republican leaders in the Senate and the House, have both said Trump should release the returns, pointing to longstanding precedent.
Clinton has released personal tax returns covering 2007 to 2014; her family’s tax returns from 2000 to 2006 were made public during her 2008 presidential run. She and her husband Bill Clinton’s records dating back to 1977 are now available to the public. Last month, Clinton disclosed her federal income tax return for 2015. Her running mate, Tim Kaine, and his wife Anne Holton released 10 years of their own returns.