Donald Trump has refused to release any tax returns for the past two years, saying the issue is not relevant to his presidency.
However, there’s a good chance he won’t be releasing any for some time, because of the “fear of retaliation” from Congress, The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg said on Tuesday.
Trump has faced increasing pressure to release tax returns in recent weeks, after it was revealed that he and his campaign paid a massive penalty to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for not releasing all of their tax returns during the 2016 campaign.
He has argued that the return issue is irrelevant because he is the president and is exempt from the IRS’ rules.
In addition, there have been reports that Trump is trying to avoid paying any federal income taxes, and that the tax bill he signed into law last week could be used to help his campaign.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, a White House spokesperson said the president is committed to paying his taxes, but he’s not making a deal with Congress to avoid it.
“I have never made a deal, nor do I intend to make one, to avoid taxes.
We will make our own decisions on taxes and the American people will make their own decisions, as they have always done,” the statement said.
Goldberg said he believes the Trump administration should release more information about how the tax code is structured and how it affects Trump’s wealth.
“The president has no choice, and we need to know what he’s paying in taxes.
That information could be crucial to understanding the tax bills the Trump campaign paid, or any other tax bills he may have,” he wrote.
In January, the conservative magazine called on Trump to publicly release his taxes and asked him to disclose any ties to Russian oligarchs, Russian government officials, or Russian-owned businesses.
Goldstein added that Trump has not publicly released his tax information since 2009, when he left office.
“There’s no way that the Trump family could release a tax return unless there’s something to hide, but there’s nothing,” he said.
“It seems to me the only thing that could be withheld is the identity of the person who pays the tax.”
Goldberg also argued that a president should not have to disclose his wealth, especially if it would hurt his political career.
“You know, if you’re president, you don’t have to worry about that.
You can run for office and say, ‘I’m not doing that,’ ” he said, adding that there’s no precedent for a president to have to reveal the identities of their donors or campaign contributors.
“If you run for president, it’s not worth the trouble of disclosing that information, and if you have a tax problem, you have to pay it.”