Graham: 2020 candidates must release their tax returns


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said any candidate for the White House in 2020 must release his or her tax returns — including President Trump.

“Any candidate in 2020 should release their tax returns,” Graham, one of the president’s leading GOP critics, told reporters. 

Pressed if he thought Trump should release his financial documents, Graham added: “If he’s a candidate for president … I think if you’re a candidate for president in 2020, you should release your tax returns.”

Trump bucked decades of tradition during the campaign by refusing to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit by the IRS. The revenue agency noted that he was free to release the information whenever he wanted.

White House aides have said the president has no intention of releasing them.


In Congress, Democrats are preparing to double down on their demand that Trump release his tax documents. 

Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Tom Carper (Del.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), as well as Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) are holding a press conference urging Republicans to allow congressional committees to review Trump’s tax returns. 

Pascrell tried to force a vote earlier this week on a resolution to request Trump’s returns, but it failed on a party-line vote. 

Under federal tax law, the chairmen of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees and the Joint Committee on Taxation can request the Treasury to provide tax returns, which are then considered in a closed meeting.

Trump and his top advisers have repeatedly defended his decision not to release the returns. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said earlier this year that “people don’t care” about the issue. 

“The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns,” Conway told ABC’s “This Week.”

Democrats have introduced legislation that would force candidates for major political parties and the president to release their tax returns, but the proposals face an uphill path in the GOP-controlled Congress. 

Tags Debbie Stabenow Lindsey Graham Ron Wyden Tom Carper

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