In a break from 40 years of precedent, Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns. The release of tax returns has become an important tradition in American democracy—it demonstrates that a presidential nominee does not have conflicts of interests that would prevent them from fullfilling his or her duties as President. This precedent is doubly important for Donald Trump, given his vast global financial interests.

The good news is that Congress has already passed a law to protect Americans from executive branch conflicts of interest. In order to protect the American public from corruption, Congress empowered itself in 1924 to obtain tax returns from executive branch employees, including the President. It has been used before, including to obtain Richard Nixon’s tax returns. Until we see Trump’s tax returns, we cannot be certain that foreign governments don’t have leverage over Trump that can be used to influence American policy. The integrity of American democracy is at stake here, and Congress needs to defend it.


Sample script
“My name is [–] and I’m a voting constituent from [city], Oregon, zip code (–).  Donald Trump is the only president in our modern history not to release his tax returns. We deserve to know whether the president is following the law like the rest of us, is not secretly benefiting financially from his own policies, and that he is not beholden to foreign powers, including countries that threaten American interests. We have no way of knowing any of this without seeing his tax returns. If [Member of Congress] really cares about the integrity of our democracy, he must commit to signing the letter being circulated by Congressman Pascrell demanding that Congress use its existing legal authority to obtain Trump’s returns.



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