Letter: As the GOP knows, Trump's taxes matter


To the Editor:

Thank you for "Our Opinion: Tax returns quest has larger meaning" (July 5). It so clearly summarizes why Trump's taxes matter, and addresses the urgent threat represented by Republicans who choose party over country. GOP leaders who enable this administration to flout the rule of law are undermining our system of checks and balances — the very foundation of our democracy.

If Trump's taxes contain evidence of criminal activity (fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, conspiring with foreign entities for personal profit), we know why he's hiding them. But what motivates his Republican enablers? What are they hiding? Why aren't they demanding to see those taxes? What's in it for them, in exchange for protecting Trump? Were those billionaire-tax-cut windfalls really worth selling out their country?

Convoluted legal evasions and bogus countersuits are the longstanding modus operandi of this president. Trump has been gleefully stonewalling and gumming up the court system to avoid personal accountability for his flimflam business practices for decades. Threats, harassment, deflections, and delays are his stock-in-trade. We never had any reason to imagine the squelcher-in-chief would rise to the office. But the GOP's unabashed complicity has been shocking, even for those of us with low expectations of Republican integrity.

There is no legal gray area in the House's demand to see Trump's tax returns — they absolutely have that right. IRS chairman Charles Rettig — a Trump appointee whose career specialty was protecting tax cheats — is required to honor that request. So is Rettig's boss, Treasury Secretary Steve "Foreclosure King" Mnuchin, whose background of financial corruption somehow didn't disqualify him for a job that includes overseeing a law-enforcement database used to combat money laundering and financial crimes. Nor is Mnuchin's boss, Donald Trump, above the law, no matter what his consigliere-posing-as-Attorney General, William Barr, wants us to believe.

Nonetheless, off we go into a morass of legal machinations that Trump and Co. know they will eventually lose, but can use to delay things until after a 2020 win for Trump. By which time, we might expect the very concept of American jurisprudence to have become a quaint memory, while Emperor Trump — unchecked and decidedly unbalanced — assumes full control of the courts.

His gutless Republican minions must be looking forward to that. We should all be asking why.

Robin Vaughan Kolderie

Hoosick, N.Y.



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