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Trump Says Taxes Being Audited, Giuliani Outs Him, Says Audit Is Complete

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Trump Says Taxes Being Audited, Giuliani Outs Him, Says Audit Is Complete

2020-07-13 18:40:00

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Rudy Giuliani (Image source: Screenshot)

Once again, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's personal attorney, is opening up his mouth and slamming not just his foot but his client's as well into said mouth. For a counselor, he does a poor job of counseling. Trump has maintained for the past four years that he was under audit, even as recently as last week. Giuliani, however, says the audit is done.

The former New York City mayor said Trump's tax returns have "by and large" been audited in an appearance on Fox News. He was commenting on the Supreme Court's opinion on the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's request to see eight years of Trump's financial records.

This began in 2011. In Trump's continual attempt to undermine then-President Barack Obama, he accused him of not being born in the United States and demanded to see his birth certificate. He said he'd release his tax returns after he saw Obama's birth certificate.

Obama did release his birth certificate, just days after Trump demanded to see it, though Trump did not release his tax returns. Three years later, an Irish journalist reminded him that the world hadn't seen his tax returns yet. Trump said he would release them if he ran for president.

"If I decide to run for office, I'll produce my tax returns, absolutely," he said when visiting Ireland to promote his Doonbeg golf club. "And I would love to do that."

Yet, in the spring of 2016, as a candidate for the Republican nomination, his attorney, Sheri A. Dillon, released a letter that said his returns had been under "continuous examination" by the Internal Revenue Service since 2002 and that the audit for his tax returns since 2009 was ongoing.

A senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, Steven M. Rosenthal, said this could be a normal situation for a taxpayer like Trump.

Yet, he also indicated there wasn't any legal reason for Trump not to release his returns. "The excuse that he's under audit is a non-excuse," said Rosenthal. "He's always under audit."

In September 2016, Trump was in the midst of debating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and when asked when he would release his tax returns, said, "I'm under a routine audit, and it'll be released," adding, "And as soon as the audit is finished, it will be released."

After he won the election, he said in May 2017 that only journalists cared about his returns, then added, "Maybe I'll release [the tax returns] after I'm finished because I'm very proud of them actually." He added, "I did a good job."

A poll last month said 56 percent of Americans believe Trump has a responsibility to release his tax returns.

In the Fox News interview, Giuliani said there is "no reason to believe that there's anything wrong with his tax returns," as they had almost all been audited.

"I mean all these tax returns have been by and large — maybe not the last one, but all of them have been audited," he claimed. "All of them have been either passed on or settled." 

Assumably, this means it's back to Trump's 2017 statement that he'll be releasing them after he leaves office. The question is whether that will be in January of next year or January 2025.

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