Donald Trump’s taxes: Running from scrutiny

Conor Kelly (TheLorain)

The Supreme Court does not belong to former president Donald Trump. That statement may seem obvious to many, as the Court is an independent body with its own powers over the law, but that statement takes on a whole new meaning when you realize that Trump appointed many of the Justices on the highest court in the land. That’s why it is so cathartic to see Trump being told by the very Justices he appointed that he has to hand over his taxes to prosecutors.  

Trump’s taxes have long been the subject of controversy. His first presidential opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, happily pointed to his lack of transparency concerning his taxes. Others argued that he was breaking presidential tradition, as many presidential candidates before him released their tax returns as a matter of transparency to the public. Trump tried to ease the controversy brought by his inability to release them, promising to release the coveted documents, but four years later, his tax returns remained almost entirely unavailable. For years, Trump has benefited from his obstruction, keeping his financial dealings a carefully guarded secret.

Now, however, he is without the benefit of executive privilege or the base of politicians to defend him. Now, he has no choice but to turn over all of the requested documents to the Manhattan District Attorney, who is investigating possible misconduct by the former president and his family. In addition to the investigation in New York, Trump faces investigations in Georgia over his calls after the 2020 election. At the core of this is Trump finally facing some degree of consequence for his misdeeds.  

For too long, Trump and his family members have acted as if they are beyond scrutiny. For too long have they been beyond the pale of public criticism. For years, the American public was left with no answers to Trump’s connections, even when he sat in the country’s highest office. That alone is a misdeed on his part, but more than that, Trump shattered norms that were meant to maintain the trust between the people and the government. If anything can be said about all of these investigations, it is that the scrutiny that Trump wanted to avoid for all these years has finally found him. 

It is unclear whether there will be any charges brought against Trump or his family members, but with the tax records now in prosecutors’ hands, we will finally get to see just how much of a businessman Trump really was. But more than that, we will get to see just how much or how little Trump cared about avoiding the swamp, as he so consistently claimed. I, for one, look forward to seeing what comes out of it all.

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Conor J. Kelly was the Opinion Editor for the Lorian and a prolific staff writer. He graduated from Loras College in April of 2021 and is now pursuing his master's in political science at the University of Illinois, Springfield. You can find his new work on The Progressive American newsletter.

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