I guess we can set aside much hope that today’s Supreme Court ruling means we’ll get a look at Donald John Trump’s tax returns prior to the November presidential election.
The court issued a 7-2 ruling that said presidents aren’t above the law, clearing the way for a Manhattan, N.Y., district attorney to pursue Trump’s tax returns.
Why is this a big … deal?
First of all, it means that the DA, Cyrus Vance Jr., will be able to present the returns to a grand jury, which is bound by secrecy provisions under state law. The grand jury is looking into whether Trump violated any crime involving his business holdings.
Eventually the nation will get a look, I suppose. Trump’s team is pretty adept at deception, diversion and delay. I expect the legal eagles working for Trump to employ all the tactics it can to delay this legal proceeding.
That all said, the public deserves a look at those returns.
Trump promised to release them. He made the promise while campaigning for the presidency. He has since choked on the pledge. Presidential candidates dating back to Jimmy Carter have released their tax returns as a matter of routine; it was a post-Watergate reform that became common practice … then along came Donald Trump.
Why do we deserve to see those returns? We need to know whether Trump is as rich as he claims to be; we deserve to know how much he pays in taxes, given that he now has a voice in what we all pay the government; we deserve to know whether he has foreign investments that might interfere with policy decisions, such as whether he deals with Russian oligarchs … right?
I’ve been yammering for those returns since before Trump got elected. They should become part of the public domain if only because they belong to the nation’s leading elected public official. He makes pronouncements and sets policies affecting the public. Therefore, the public deserves to know all about the individual who sits at the top of our government’s chain of command.
We have inched a bit closer to that reality occurring. Although I am not going to hold my breath waiting for it. I’ll just keep yammering for those returns’ release.