A White House petition to force Donald Trump to disclose his taxes has reached over 100,000 signatures. This time it looks as if he might have to comply. Trump has publicly bragged that not paying taxes makes him smart, even in debates with former presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Now his words may come back to bite him.
Joe Biden told ABC News what most Americans are thinking:
‘Come on man, that just isn’t right.’
‘The unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation which can reveal the foreign influences and financial interests which may put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause [conflict of interest] of the Constitution.’
Experts reported to ABC News that Trump may indeed be violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. In order to comply with the Constitution, he must sell his assets or place them in a blind trust.
However, ordering his two sons to manage a business that has tentacles reaching around the world won’t work. Would Trump be able to refrain from talking about his business over family dinners? That is highly unlikely.
The emoluments clause in the Constitution says that U.S. officials cannot profit from foreign leaders. In this case, Trump has already violated it simply by receiving profits from his hotel business.
The newly minted president has always refused to release his tax returns. He claimed that he was being audited by the IRS, so he couldn’t release them until the audit was over. It must be a very long audit, because Trump has been saying this for over 18 months.
According to ABC News, Trump’s people claim:
‘He paid hundreds of millions of dollars in other taxes in response to a report that he may have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years.’
Experts have told ABC News they agree Trump may be violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, if he does not adequately separate himself from his businesses.
Of course, there is no way to verify Trump’s claims – yet. But the petition may have solved that problem. Once the petition crossed the 100,000 mark, the White House was required to review it. Then, they must issue a response.
Featured Image: Getty Images/Andrew Burton.