Trump Claimed He’d Show His Taxes. Now He’s Suing California Over New Law That Would Force Him to Show His Returns

Illustration for article titled Trump Claimed He’d Show His Taxes. Now He’s Suing California Over New Law That Would Force Him to Show His Returns
Photo: Zach Gibson (Getty Images)

President Donald Trump once claimed that if he wasn’t being audited he’d have no problem showing his tax returns. While tax-return flashing isn’t a requirement to be president, it’s been the unspoken norm that all presidents since Richard Nixon have adhered to. As it stands, Trump is the only modern president not to release his tax returns, and most likely that’s because he listed Russian prostitute urine as a write-off.


So California got tired of the president’s bullshitting and implemented a law that would require all presidential nominees to release their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary ballot. The president (who once wished he could show the public his tax returns were it not for that pesky audit, which has lasted his entire presidency), along with the Republican National Committee, filed lawsuits on Tuesday, challenging the law.

From BuzzFeed News:

The California law, SB27, requires any presidential candidate who wants to appear on the primary ballot to submit copies of all income tax returns they filed with the IRS over the past five years. The California secretary of state would then release those returns to the public, with redactions for sensitive information such as Social Security numbers and medical information.

Trump, who has refused to release his tax returns, is arguing that the law goes beyond what the Constitution requires in order to qualify as a presidential candidate, that it violates the First Amendment and is rooted in efforts to retaliate against Trump personally, and that it exceeds what federal law requires presidential candidates to disclose in terms of their finances.

In a separate lawsuit, the RNC raised some of the same arguments and also accused the state of infringing on the rights of Republican voters to express their political preferences in the primary election by imposing additional burdens on candidates to appear on the ballot. Both cases were filed in federal district court in Sacramento.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed SB27 into law July 30, released a statement through his office: “There’s an easy fix for the President. He should release his tax returns as he promised during the campaign and follow the precedent of every president since 1973.” A spokesperson for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra declined to comment.

Because Trump is a liar and a good friend of longtime U.S. enemy Russian President Vladimir Putin, House Democrats have tried to use crafty ways to get a peek at Trump’s taxes. They’ve already gone to the IRS, but Treasury Secretary “Steve Mnuchin on Trump’s Balls,” shut that down. BuzzFeed notes that House Dems are now suing in federal court in Washington, D.C., to get the documents.

BuzzFeed reports that New York state officials “recently passed a law that would allow Congress to ask for copies of the president’s state tax returns once it had tried to go through the IRS. Trump filed a lawsuit, also in federal court in Washington, contesting that law and seeking to block House Democrats from invoking it.”

But Trump would totally show his tax returns if it wasn’t for that pesky audit, which has been going on longer than Ashanti has been posting thirst traps online.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.


E=MC Hammered

I like anything that highlights Trumps hypocrisy and bullshit and much as the next person, but this is a stupid law, and it’s poorly written and thought out. Jerry Brown was right to veto a similar one in 2017.