Two Democratic presidential candidates have released their 2018 tax returns this week, putting the pressure on their fellow party candidates while simultaneously making a dig a President Donald Trump, whose tax returns remain a secret two years into his presidency.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was the first to do so, releasing her returns Wednesday.
“For public servants, releasing your tax returns shows the American people that you work only for them, not the powerful,” she said in a statement. “I’m proud to be the first presidential candidate to release my latest returns, and take that critical step towards transparency.”
Gillibrand has returns dating back to 2007 available on her campaign website.
I was the first member of Congress to make my official meetings, personal financial disclosures and taxes public. Now I'm the first presidential candidate to release my tax returns for 2018—and every year since 2007. Ask every candidate to do the same: https://t.co/o9Kbdp9VQ4
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) March 27, 2019
“The American people should know that their president is beholden to no one but them, and I’m urging all presidential candidates to join me and disclose at least ten years of their taxes, which will strengthen our ability to beat President Trump,” she added.
Trump is the first president to not release their tax returns since the practice became common-place following Richard Nixon’s presidency.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump claimed he was under audit by the IRS and therefore couldn’t release his returns. But as opponent Hillary Clinton, as well as many others, noted, the audit does not prevent Trump from making his returns public.
Two years into his presidency, Trump’s returns remain under lock and key.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee released his returns Friday morning on “Fox & Friends,” explicitly stating that he knew the program is the president’s “favorite” and believed it was the best platform to challenge Trump to release his returns as well.
“It’s time for him to come clean with the American people,” he said on “Fox & Friends.” “He’s got to show what he’s been hiding and Americans deserve that truth.”
Inslee has the past 12 years of his returns available on his campaign website.
Just now, on @realDonaldTrump's favorite show, @foxandfriends, I announced I’m releasing 12 years of tax returns, and called on him to finally be transparent with the American people. https://t.co/mIrqdXF6W1
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) March 29, 2019
Inslee and Gillibrand are the only candidates to release their 2018 tax returns, but other candidates have made public their previous year tax returns. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has tax returns from 2008 to 2017 listed on her campaign website and, as one of Trump’s biggest critics of his secret returns, she is expected to make her 2018 ones public.
Plenty of other 2020 candidates have criticized Trump’s secrecy and with less than three weeks until the filing deadline, more tax returns could be made public to pressure the president.
Trump isn’t required to release his tax returns, but the Democrat-led House is trying to change that. The House Ways and Means Committee began looking into getting the president’s tax returns since Democrats took over in January, and a bill passed by the House last week that requires presidents and presidential nominees to make their returns public.