By his own standard, Donald Trump should have released his tax returns by now


Donald Trump and his surrogates have given multiple excuses for why the Republican presidential nominee hasn't released his tax returns.

First came the line about Trump being under an IRS audit — even though that wouldn't prohibit Trump from releasing his tax returns.

Then it was Donald Trump Jr.'s admission that releasing the returns would be a distraction for the campaign — an excuse that didn't past the smell test for many who want to see what possible conflicts of interest Trump may have with both foreign and domestic entities he'd have to work with as president.

But no matter the excuse, Trump should have released his tax returns by now, even according to Trump's own logic.

In February, Trump tweeted that 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney looked like a "fool" for releasing his tax returns late in the game, on Sept. 21, 2012 — after then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid helped goad Romney into making them public.

Two days later, Trump emphasized that date in all caps, saying Romney was a "bad messenger" for not releasing his tax returns until Sept. 21.

But on Sept. 21, 2016 — 48 days before voters cast their ballots — Trump has not released his own tax returns.

Continuing to hold out on releasing those tax documents will almost certainly keep up the cloud that's formed around his finances.

The Washington Post reported that Trump has not donated any of his own funds to his charitable foundation in years. They added that he's used other people's money in his charity to settle his business-related legal troubles, a prohibited practice called "self-dealing."

A Newsweek investigation found Trump's businesses are tied up in foreign nations, which could lead to major conflicts of interests if he were commander in chief.

The Trump campaign has denied these allegations. However they have provided no proof to back up those denials.

Releasing his tax returns could help clear up any doubts.

But Trump has given no indication that those documents will ever be made public — even though Trump's logic says they should have been by now.