Credo Action

After Trump's praise for Putin, Americans deserve to see his tax returns immediately.

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Petition to Congress:

“Trump's shocking praise for Vladimir Putin makes it even more urgent that Americans understand the scope of Trump's financial dealings. Make Trump's tax returns public by passing the Presidential Tax Transparency Act or using existing subpoena power.”

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    After Trump's praise for Putin, Americans deserve to see his tax returns immediately.

    Think about this for a second: Vladimir Putin may know more about Donald Trump's business dealings than the American public.

    Trump has broken with decades of precedent and refused to release his tax returns. So Americans have little idea who his business partners have been, how much money foreign entities are paying him even as he occupies the White House – or how indebted he may be to Russian interests.1

    After the shocking spectacle of Trump siding with Putin over U.S. intelligence when it comes to Russian influence in America's election, Congress should have no choice but to force Trump to finally release his taxes.

    Tell Congress: Make Trump's tax returns public.

    Even some Republicans are demanding to see Trump's tax returns after his disturbing performance in Helsinki, where he sided with Putin and praised the brutal autocrat.2 Sen. John McCain declared it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory,” and conservative Rep. Mark Sanford admitted he does not know if Putin has damaging information on Donald Trump.3,4

    Without a look at his tax returns, the American public cannot know whether Trump’s current debt or his previous business partnerships obligate him financially to Russian oligarchs aligned with Vladimir Putin. Trump’s debt load increased from $350 to $630 million in 2016, when American banks were reluctant to extend Trump credit.5 In 2008, Trump’s son is claimed to have said, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”6

    What's more, a government watchdog filed a lawsuit just days after the inauguration claiming that Trump is in violation of the Constitution because any payments to Trump from foreign entities violates the anti-bribery “emoluments” clause of the Constitution.7 It appears clear that Trump is using his position to enrich himself and his family, but without his tax returns, Americans are left wondering if Putin has dirt on the man occupying the White House.

    Tell Congress: Make Trump's tax returns public.

    Congress has multiple options to give the American people access to Trump's tax returns. Chief among them is Sen. Ron Wyden’s Presidential Tax Transparency Act, which would require candidates to release their last three years of tax returns within 15 days of being nominated or the Federal Election Commission would do it for them.8 Key committees may also have the power to subpoena and release Trump's tax returns to the public.

    The American people deserve the truth about Donald Trump's businesses and to whom he owes money. If Trump has something to hide, it raises the possibility of intentional Russian blackmail. If not, there's no reason for his tax returns not to be public.

    Tell Congress: Make Trump's tax returns public.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Avery Anapol, "GOP lawmaker renews call for Trump to release tax returns after Putin summit," The Hill, July 17, 2018.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Sarah Hallam, "John McCain: Trump gave 'one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory,'" CNN, July 16, 2018.
    5. Josh Marshall, "Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing," Talking Points Memo, July 23, 2016.
    6. Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman and Michael Birnbaum, "Inside Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Putin," The Washington Post, June 17, 2016.
    7. Kim Bellware, "President Trump Has Already Violated The Constitution, Lawsuit Claims," HuffPost, Jan. 23, 2017.
    8. Amber Phillips, "Want your presidential candidates to release their taxes? There’s a bill for that." The Washington Post, Oct. 3, 2016.