Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns after he promised to do so during the 2016 campaign could prove to be his undoing in at least one state, if not more. His stonewalling not only broke precedent for every campaign except Gerald Ford’s in 1976, it was a perfect snapshot of everything that his presidency would become: An endless litany of talking out of both sides of his mouth and breaking promises.
Now Rhode Island has become the first state whose legislature has taken up an effort to keep any future presidential candidate off the ballot if he or she refuses to release their tax returns — something that members of the United States Congress have also expressed interest in, raising the possibility that Democrats may take it up in legislation after they take back both houses of Congress in November.
It would be a justice much sweeter than even impeachment if Trump were prevented from even running for president in 2020, simply because he knows that showing his tax returns would put his past sins on full display — for not just the general public, but for Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors as well.
It’s no secret that Trump has had — and possibly still has — ties to organized crime not just in America but in Russia as well, not to mention the bevy of unsavory contacts he’s maintained through his point men: Cohen, Manafort, and the whole crew.
The Rhode Island bill never mentions Donald Trump by name, but really, does it need to? It’s pretty obvious exactly who it’s aimed at. That bill passed the RI Senate with 92 percent of the vote and currently sits before the state house assembly. With a Democratic Governor on hand to sign the bill, the 4 electoral votes the tiny coastal state holds may be out of reach for Trump. Should any or all of the other states currently controlled entirely by Democrats take up a similar bill — any of the three states on the West Coast, for example, or Connecticut, New Mexico, Delaware, New Jersey, or Hawaii — which would ostensibly pass easily, Trump could be automatically short of the total electoral votes needed by more than one hundred.
Now THAT would be amazing.
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