In a CNN interview Wednesday, author Timothy O’Brien discussed what his lawyers discovered about Donald Trump’s tax returns when O’Brien was being sued for libel.
Trump sued O’Brien unsuccessfully in 2006 regarding a biographical book he wrote two years prior, “Trump Nation: The Art Of Being The Donald.” In the book, O’Brien wrote that Trump drastically exaggerates his worth, and estimated that the residential mogul was worth around $250 million.
He explained to CNN, “During the course of that litigation, my lawyers deposed him about his taxes and we got his tax returns. I think there’s very practical things [sic] in those documents that Trump doesn’t want to produce because they’re going to undermine a whole series of claims and remarks he’s made on the campaign trail over the last year.”
For one, the tax returns would prove that Trump has not been as philanthropic as he claims to be. The tax returns could also show that Trump uses more overseas labor than he cares to admit, potentially negating his arguments against illegal immigration, O’Brien said.
He said, “[Trump’s] also spent a large portion of his time on the campaign trail criticizing American companies for operating overseas at the expense of the American worker. We know he sources a lot of his clothing overseas; he hires workers for his hotels and resorts from overseas. The tax returns could reveal some of that.”
O’Brien also said that the tax returns could also indicate what kind of financial woes Trump faces in his personal life. He said, “I think… the taxes would show what kind of financial issues and pressure would come to bear on him in the office. That’s the reason historically that presidents have revealed and released their taxes.”
Trump has not released his tax returns to the public as is expected of presidential candidates because he claims he is being audited. But, this shouldn’t impede him from sharing his tax returns; Richard Nixon did just that in 1973 when he was being audited during a financial crisis. Mitt Romney even went as far as to say that the returns must contain “a bombshell” if he’s not releasing them.
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