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Trump has one chance to keep the public from seeing his taxes — and it involves breaking the law

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On Monday President Donald Trump made it clear that he will do everything in his power to keep his tax returns from the public, writes Trump biographer David Cay Johnston, and he may be down to his last defense that may not pass legal muster.

According to Johnston, writing at the Daily Beast, attorneys for the president made a specious legal claim in refusing to turn over his tax returns in Congress and the president better hope it holds up.

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“Donald Trump switched to full panic mode on Monday, afraid that the whole truth about his finances and conduct will come out,” Johnston wrote. “He is openly declaring he is above the law, in a way that should make us laugh if not for fear that the judges he’s peppered the federal bench with could find a way to hold their noses and swallow his noxious argument.”

According to the journalist and author, Trump’s lawsuit to block the release is an attempt to keep the public from seeing not only his true worth but also evidence of corruption.

“Trump’s complaint goes on to assert that Congress has no power to investigate him for anything he declares to be his conduct as a private citizen. This sounds like what you might hear from a random drunk in a bar,” the author writes. “Accepting Trump’s theory would mean that he can block any inquiry into ‘possible violations of federal law’ by himself. That’s the kind of self-preserving power held by the lawless rulers Trump says he admires—Duterte, Erdogan, Kim, Putin and Xi.”

Johnston points out, “As I’ve long said, Trump has no idea what is in our Constitution. This lawsuit is proof. The reason that his lawyers, who took required courses on our Constitution to qualify for their law degrees, signed on to this is a mystery. Whatever the answer, it is worth considering whether their licenses to practice law should be revoked for ignorance.”

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“Trump is saying, in effect, let’s ignore the oversight function of Congress, such as examining whether our constitutional executive, currently Trump, is faithfully executing the duties of his office. He’s not, so of course he wants no oversight,” he continued.

Johnston asserts, that “Trump has one hope in this lawsuit,” and that is his case comes before one of his own federal appointments to the bench who is willing to set aside the law over loyalty to the president.

“One in nine serving federal judges is a Trump appointee, which makes playing judicial roulette a game with possibilities,” he writes.

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“Only if the judges Trump appointed and confirmed by Senate Republicans care not a whit about their oath of office, separation of powers under our Constitution, the rule of law and the welfare of our republic,” can Trump be stopped, Johnston warns, adding darkly, “If not, his campaign rally musings about staying on after two terms are anything but a laughing matter.”

You can read more here.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Trump claimed North Korea missile testing ‘would stop’ — but they just launched again: report

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The upcoming G7 summit meeting in Bairritz, France will have one more issue to grapple with after North Korea reportedly conducted missile tests.

"South Korea's military confirms that North Korea has launched a projectile this morning. From South Hamgyong Province. Japan's government reported it first," Voice of America Seoul bureau chief William Gallo Tweeted Friday.

"North Korea has now conducted nine rounds of launches since early May. But this one's notable because it comes after Trump says Kim promised "this testing would stop when the exercises end." They did end Tuesday. And yet..." he noted.

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