Trump can put to bed rumors of Russian involvement by releasing tax returns

Published 7:30 am Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dear Editor,

A letter to President Trump:

I’m a veteran who has lectured on American culture in Poland and the Ukraine just before those countries gained their independence from their Communist Russian overseers. We are both Penn graduates of about the same age.

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Although I do not agree with some of your political and ideological stances, I sincerely want you to be successful in lessening the negativity and divisiveness that grew out of the recent primary campaigns and election. You can easily and immediately do one thing to help accomplish this — and it will also end the widespread, unsubstantiated speculation that your connections with corrupt Russian oligarchs will compromise American foreign policy for the next four years.

During your campaign, you said in many public venues that you would release your tax returns once the election was over and the IRS had completed its multi-year audit.

Then, two days after your inauguration, your advisor Kellyanne Conway said in an interview with ABC News that you’d decided not to do that. Earlier on Fox News, conservative icon George Will said that until you release your tax returns, there was “reasonable surmise” that you’ve been “deeply involved” with Russian oligarchs. This surmise by citizens of all political stripes will surely limit your effectiveness as president. 

Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama released their tax returns. More than 60 percent of the American people believe you now have that same obligation. I would very much like to think that you can and will act in the best interests of the country, rather than only yourself, when dealing with the Russians during the next four years. 

Mr. President, I respectfully ask you to release your tax returns.

Milton Reigelman