Weeks after the biggest national protest in U.S. history, a coalition of progressive grassroots organizers is planning a sequel — with the aim of pressuring President Trump to release his tax returns.
On April 15, the deadline for most Americans to file their 2016 returns, leaders from the Women’s March coalition and others, including MoveOn.org and the Indivisible Project, will hold a “Tax March” in Washington and at least 60 other locations. Those include New York, Los Angeles, Little Rock, Ark., and Boise, Idaho, organizers told USA TODAY.
Every U.S. president since Richard Nixon has released his tax returns. Demands for their release are gaining urgency after a Tuesday New York Times story that his campaign officials corresponded with Russian intelligence, the latest news story to draw connections between Trump and Russia, which U.S. intelligence agencies concluded attempted to help him win election.
Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned Monday following reports that he lied about a December conversation with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
A number of news organizations have also written about potential business conflicts of interest that could be informed by a review of Trump’s tax returns. Yet on Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee rejected a Democratic effort to obtain the tax documents from the U.S. Treasury Department.
“Until we see his taxes, we don’t know how much money he owes Russia, China and other countries. If Trump won’t voluntarily release his taxes, Congress must force him to do it, as a matter of moral urgency, Constitutional necessity and national security,” said Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org.
During the campaign, Trump frequently said he was not releasing his returns because they were under audit. Yet Richard Nixon released his returns despite an audit, and Trump also declined to release prior returns that were not under audit. The Internal Revenue Service has never confirmed whether they are indeed under audit and when it might conclude.
SOURCE: Heidi M. Przybyla