Every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter has released their tax returns with the exception, of course, of Donald Trump. After lying about being unable to share them due to a “routine audit” and claiming that he would do so just as soon as he got the green light, Trump proceeded to spend the next four-plus years doing everything in his power to ensure such information never saw the light of day—almost as though he had something to hide! So you can imagine his reaction when the Supreme Court decided on Monday to reject his last-ditch attempt to shield his returns, which certainly sounds like that of a guy who’s committed all manner of tax fraud and is concerned about the possibility of spending a good chunk of his twilight years in prison.
In a statement on “The Continuing Political Persecution of President Donald J. Trump,” Trump rants that he is the victim of “the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our Country.” Referring to the case the court ruled on, which concerns a subpoena of Trump’s accountants by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, who has opened a criminal investigation into the ex-president, Trump says, “This is something which has never happened to a President before,” naturally failing to mention the fact that, among past POTUSes, only Trump has a reputation as a notorious con man. Nevertheless, he incomprehensibly continues:
[This] is all Democrat-inspired in a totally Democrat location, New York City and State, completely controlled and dominated by a heavily reported enemy of mine, Governor Andrew Cuomo. These are attacks by Democrats willing to do anything to stop the almost 75 million people (the most votes, by far, ever gotten by a sitting president) who voted for me in the election—an election which many people, and experts, feel that I won. I agree!
The new phenomenon of “headhunting” prosecutors and AGs—who try to take down their political opponents using the law as a weapon—is a threat to the very foundation of our liberty. That’s what is done in third world countries. Even worse are those who run for prosecutorial or attorney general offices in far-left states and jurisdictions pledging to take out a political opponent. That’s fascism, not justice—and that is exactly what they are trying to do with respect to me, except that the people of our Country won’t stand for it. In the meantime, murders and violent crime are up in New York City by record numbers, and nothing is done about it. Our elected officials don’t care. All they focus on is the persecution of President Donald J. Trump. I will fight on, just as I have, for the last five years (even before I was successfully elected), despite all of the election crimes that were committed against me. We will win!
So, just to reiterate, Trump—a person who incited a violent riot in the hopes of overturning the election—believes that crimes have been committed against him, and, despite the fact that he literally tried to use the Justice Department to investigate enemies, that he is the victim of political “persecution.”
While the scope of Vance’s investigation isn’t known, it reportedly initially arose from an inquiry into hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal and now includes possible crimes like insurance and tax fraud. Last week, the D.A.’s office interviewed Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, as part of the probe; in February 2019, Cohen told Congress that in his experience, Trump “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.” Last September, The New York Times reported that Trump had managed to somehow avoid paying federal income taxes for 11 of 18 years through 2017, and paid just $750 his first year in the White House.