Wikileaks Wants to Publish Trump's Tax Returns

Posted: Jan 23, 2017 11:30 AM

For months on the presidential campaign trail, then Republican candidate Donald Trump promised to release his tax returns once a "routine" IRS audit of his finances was complete. 

"When the audit ends, I'm going to present them," Trump said in May 2016. 

Over the weekend, former Trump campaign manager and current White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said the new commander-in-chief won't be releasing his returns after all.

“The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care, they voted for him,” Conway said on Sunday during an interview on ABC News.

But while people did in fact vote for Trump despite his returns remaining private, the same voters still believe a public release is warranted. From a recent Washington Post/ABC News survey:

Views on tax returns shift decidedly away from Trump’s position. Seventy-four present overall say he should release his tax returns; that includes 49 percent of his own supporters, as well as nearly all of Clinton’s (94 percent) and 83 percent of those who had another preference, or none.The number who favor release of the documents is higher than it was in two related questions in ABC/Post polls during the election campaign. In May, 64 percent said he should release the returns, and in September, 63 percent said he was not justified in withholding them.

In one key support group for Trump, non-college educated white men, 58 percent sayhe should release the tax returns; that rises to 81 percent of college educated white women and 88 percent
 of nonwhites. By another measure, 69 percent in the red states those Trump won say he should release these records, as do 81 percent in Clinton’s blue states. Forty-one percent, overall, say they “care a lot” about Trump releasing the records.

Now Wikileaks, which played a prominent role in damaging the Clinton campaign through a series of DNC email dumps during the general election, is reiterating the willingness to publish Trump's tax returns. 

The only person who can legally release Trump's tax returns is Trump. If someone at the IRS were to leak the returns to Wikileaks for publication, they would be in severe violation of federal law. For the sake of transparency and keeping promises, Trump should release them on his own. 

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