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Tell Congress: Pass the Presidential Tax Transparency Act

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Petition to Congress:

“Force the president and all presidential candidates to release their tax returns by passing the Presidential Tax Transparency Act.”

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    Tell Congress: Pass the Presidential Tax Transparency Act

    The pressure is mounting on Trump over his taxes. The IRS already destroyed his main excuse, saying he can release his returns during an audit.1

    The new Democratic chair of the House Ways and Means committee is under massive pressure to immediately use his legal authority to request Trump's tax returns. Democrats are also stepping up to the plate with legislation to force Trump's hand.

    Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden just reintroduced his Presidential Tax Transparency Act, which would make it mandatory for presidential candidates to release tax returns, and a similar bill is moving in the House. We need to push every possible avenue – from legislation to investigations – to expose Trump's taxes and demand members of Congress decide between loyalty to Trump and loyalty to our democracy.

    Tell Congress: Pass the Presidential Tax Transparency Act.

    Sen. Ron Wyden’s bill would require all candidates and sitting presidents to release their last three years of tax returns or the Federal Election Commission would do it for them.2 A similar proposal in the House will be included in the massive anti-corruption bill Democrats will push in the coming weeks.3 Every time we back legislation or strong investigations into Trump's taxes, we put the spotlight on Republicans who want to keep protecting the racist authoritarian in the White House.

    Trump’s taxes are the window to his entire web of swampy corruption:

    • Tax fraud. A breathtaking New York Times investigation found that the Trump family used shell companies, illegal markups and undervalued properties to transfer millions from Fred Trump to Donald and his other children. The reporting not only explodes the myth of Trump the self-made billionaire, but also specifies "instances of outright fraud."4
    • Compromising financial ties to Russian oligarchs or the super-rich in America. 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
    • Profiting from the Trump Tax Scam and holding office. 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.

    Republicans who oppose Wyden's bill are simply putting partisan loyalties ahead of allowing Americans to make informed decisions. By demanding that Congress act, we can keep the focus on Trump’s outrageous stonewalling, force Republicans to pick between loyalty to party and country, and lay down a principle for all candidates in future elections. We need strong legislation mandating release of tax returns now.

    Tell Congress: Pass the Presidential Tax Transparency Act.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Michael Burke, "Top Finance Dem reintroduces bill that would require Trump to release tax returns," The Hill, Jan. 3, 2019.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Naomi Jagoda, "House Dems offer bill to require presidents to release tax returns," The Hill, Jan. 9, 2019.
    4. David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Ross Buettner, "Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father," The New York Times, Oct. 2, 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 and Cristian Farias, “President Trump Has Already Violated The Constitution, Lawsuit Claims,” HuffPost, Jan. 23, 2017.