On Monday, Vice News filed a Freedom of Information Act based lawsuit against the IRS intended to force the agency to release all of Donald Trump’s tax audit related documents back to the year 2002.
The businessman turned Republican presidential nominee continues his longstanding refusal to release his tax returns.
Most reports suggest that Trump’s cover up of his financial information is actually hiding something worth hiding, be that financial corruption through either an obscenely low amount of taxes actually paid or through shady financial networks which should most certainly not involve a potential president of the United States.
Adding to the public’s suspicion over what exactly is in Donald Trump’s tax returns is the candidate’s insistence that he has been nearly continuously audited by the IRS since 2002.
Yearly auditing is far from normal or common, even among persons of Trump’s supposed financial stature. Further, as IRS Commissioner John Koskinen noted last February, there is “nothing legally stopping any taxpayer from releasing his or her returns publicly,” even while under audit by the IRS.
The public both wants to and — as co-plaintiff to the Vice News lawsuit Ben Shapiro noted — deserves to know the details of currently underway investigations against the man running for president of the United States.
Shapiro, who is a doctoral candidate at MIT and research affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, said:
‘If the Republican nominee for President of the United States is currently under federal investigation, this is absolutely something the voters should know.’
Vice News also named the FBI as co-defendant in the lawsuit in an attempt to force the agency to “disclose all documents, if any exist, mentioning or referring to” a comment that Trump made at an early August North Carolina campaign rally which was widely interpreted as a call for Hillary Clinton’s assassination should she become president — which, at present is a significantly more likely scenario then Trump’s assumption of the Oval Office.
Speaking of the widely discussed point that the next president will likely be tasked with nominating multiple justices to the US Supreme Court, thus shaping decades of American legal action, Trump said in August, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”
With the Second Amendment of course referring to the right to bear arms, the presidential candidate’s comments sparked a firestorm.
Vice News is also seeking any and all documents relating to any FBI investigation into Trump’s expression of support for Russian hacking against the United States, when he “called upon Russia to track down ‘30,000 emails [from Clinton’s server] that are missing.'”
With a lawsuit against agencies of the Federal government certainly a dramatic move, Vice explained what was the tipping point prompting their filing:
‘Because Election Day is less than two months away, we initially asked the IRS and FBI in a FOIA request to grant us expedited processing because there is an urgent need to inform the public before they go to the polls on November 8. Neither the IRS nor the FBI responded to that request, which is why we sued the agencies.’
Featured Image via Steve Pope/ Getty Images.