Last week, Rhode Island’s state Senate passed a bill intended to keep candidates off the presidential ballot in their state if they don’t release five years’ worth of tax returns.
Donald Trump has claimed that he is not allowed to release his tax returns because he is under audit, however, the IRS has repeatedly states that an audit would never prevent a presidential candidate from releasing any personal tax information.
Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin (D), who sponsored the bill, noted that every presidential candidate since Richard Nixon had voluntarily released their tax returns. That is… until Trump ran for office.
The bill, known as H2612, passed 34-3 and also requires that candidates for Vice President release their tax returns covering the same time period, per The Providence Journal.
Elaine Morgan of, a Republican Senator, asked why the president should have to do that, if state lawmakers face no such requirement.
Goldin posited, and the majority in the Democrat-dominated Senate agreed, that “tax returns provide essential information about candidates’ conflicts of interest,″ and other vital information to a voter weighing a decision. But there have been questions raised about the constitutionality of states adopting unique state-level requirements for candidates running for federal elections.
In November 2017, Former IRS chief John Koskinen, told POLITICO that they were building a “special safe” to protect the president’s tax papers.
“It’s in a locked cabinet in a locked room that nobody’s in. You’ll need a key to the room and the cabinet to get it,” Koskinen told POLITICO. “We’re in the process of turning that cabinet into a safe. We keep all the returns from every president in there.”