I cannot shake the feeling that the most interesting and sought-after findings in Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign will exist in the tax returns the president has refused to release for public scrutiny.
The special counsel reportedly is winding his exhaustive probe down. He’s been at since mid-2017 when the Justice Department hired him to examine those allegations of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian goons who interfered with our electoral process.
The tax returns keep refusing to go away.
Trump promised to release them after the Internal Revenue Service completed an audit. The IRS said an audit doesn’t preclude release of returns. Trump has gone silent on the tax returns, which presidential candidates dating back to 1976 have opened up for public review. The idea is to give the public a full accounting of the financial activities of the men and women seeking to become our head of state.
Trump hasn’t gone there. He won’t do it. He is breaking a campaign pledge, kind of how he pledged to make Mexico pay for The Wall he wants to build along our southern border.
Mueller’s investigation has been thorough, or so we have been led to believe. I happen to accept the notion that the former FBI director, a highly efficient prosecutor, has discovered a mountain of information about the president.
My strong sense echoes what many of us have heard already, that he has obtained those tax returns or at minimum has developed enough knowledge of what is in them. The returns well might reveal a trove of information about the nature of Trump’s business dealings around the world. After all, he has boasted repeatedly about the vastness of his empire — even though he has told us he has “no deals” in Russia. And we believe him, right?
The tax returns have been of considerable interest to many of us, especially those of us who have suspected that Donald Trump isn’t quite the fellow he presented himself to be, the kind of guy who won enough Electoral College votes to be elected to the only public office he ever has sought.
It might be that Mueller’s findings won’t reveal a thing about Donald Trump’s business dealings. However, I still insist, along with others, that the president should show us what is in those returns to allow us to make that determination for ourselves.
If he won’t, then I have this hunch that special counsel Robert Mueller will do it for him.