Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How Trump’s Taxes Might Trigger Impeachment

Trump’s decision on whether or not to release his tax returns is personal not legal. There is no requirement that a president must release his taxes, but there is also no law or regulation against releasing taxes that are under audit. Although the IRS routinely audits a president’s tax returns each year; all prior presidents for more than three decades have made public their returns. For Trump, either decision on his taxes could contribute to his impeachment.

Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns creates the plausible inference that he has something to conceal from Congress and the American people. What matters for impeachment is what precisely he is hiding. Presume that the returns are only embarrassing politically, showing for example, that he paid little or no federal income taxes in some years. The wise course for the president would then be to release his returns, otherwise his credibility will suffer and impede his defense against any potential charges of impeachment.

During the campaign, Trump handily dismissed charges that he evaded taxes, even bragging that paying no tax “makes me smart.” He could survive similar charges as president, while clearing the air of suspicions about more serious revelations. And Trump would gain political capital for openness and transparency. Thousands of Americans recently took to the streets to demand that Trump release his tax returns. Polls show that more than two-thirds of the public agree that Trump should release his returns.  Read full post here 

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