Trump is hiding his taxes because he is the ‘head of a white-collar crime family’: David Cay Johnston
Donald Trump, pointing at his sons Donald Trump, Jr and Eric Trump (Twitter)

President Donald Trump has legitimate reasons to worry about the release of his tax returns, Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston explained on MSNBC on Friday.

Johnston, a tax expert and author of the 2016 book The Making of Donald Trump, was interviewed by MSNBC's Yasmin Vossoughian.

"In the fight over Donald Trump’s tax returns, Democrats say they just pulled an ace out of their sleeve. Watergate-era documents they say demolish claims that their demand for taxes is are unprecedented. This week, House Democrats releasing letters from 1973 showing the IRS handed over Richard Nixon’s tax information on the very same day that House Democrats asked for them," Vossoughian reported.

"Not only that, the 1973 requests cited the same law that Democrats are relying on today, that 1924 law requiring the Treasury Department to furnish tax documents," she added.

"How relevant is this Nixon era precedent to getting Trump’s taxes?" she asked Johnston.

"Well, it’s totally relevant, Yasmin," he replied. "In the years since 1924, there is not a single known case of the IRS not turning over a tax return on request. In fact, Congress has at least three employees who work out of the IRS just to examine tax returns every day."

"Why can they not furnish the president’s taxes when asking for them from the IRS? And what do you see as the main difference here between the current president and then Nixon?" Vossoughian asked.

"Well, the fundamental difference here is that Richard Nixon at the end of the day, a former naval officer in World War II, was a patriot who resigned when he realized that he in fact had committed crimes, including, by the way, tax crimes," he explained. "Donald Trump is a lawless man. He is the third generation head of a white-collar crime family."

"And when it comes to our Constitution, he has this belief, as he said just this week, that as president he is empowered to do anything, which is not at all what our Constitution says," he explained. "Donald is a dictator-in-waiting and this case is a good example of his belief that he should simply rule, not administer, but rule the country forever."