Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Wednesday that he may not release his tax returns until after November’s election, citing legal advice amid an ongoing audit of his finances.
The real estate mogul, according to the Associated Press, said Wednesday that he would not overrule advice from his legal counsel not to publicly disclose his tax returns before an audit by the Internal Revenue Service is completed – including if the audit is not completed before Election Day.
Former GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who has been one of his party’s most vocal critics of Trump, called Trump’s decision not to release returns “disqualifying” in a statement release on social media.
“It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service,” Romney wrote. “Mr. Trump says he is being audited. So? There is nothing that prevents releasing tax returns that are being audited.”
Romney has previously accused Trump of attempting to conceal a “bombshell” by withholding the release of his taxes, which he repeated again Wednesday. Romney’s hesitation to release his own tax returns became an issue in the 2012 campaign.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton also hit Trump for not releasing previous tax returns, pointing to her own public disclosures.
“See, when you’re running for president. … that is kind of expected,” she said of a public release during a campaign event in Blackwood, New Jersey. She said that she has released 33 years’ worth of returns spanning the course of her and her husband’s political careers.
“So you have to ask yourself, why doesn’t he want to release them?” she said.
Trump sought to temper the furor Wednesday in a tweet: “In interview I told @AP that my taxes are under routine audit and I would release my tax returns when audit is complete, not after election!”
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Jose A. DelReal