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••• The International Writers Magazine - Our 20th Year: Trump and Tax

How Bad Can Trump's Tax Returns Be?
• James Campion
Spoiler Alert: He Thinks They’re Really Bad


Come on, admit it. Even if you continue to defend Donald Trump despite everything, aren’t you the least bit curious as to why he has never released his tax returns despite every candidate since Richard Nixon doing so and the accepted idea that those running for or serving as president need to be transparent to the American people so there is no gory speculation on what kind of weird shit our public servants are into? I mean, especially for a (in)famous business man who stakes his reputation on being some kind of financial wizard and specifically this man, who finds the need to tout the most banal of accomplishments (making up many of them) and regurgitating his most heinous fuck-ups like the post-Charlottesville “both sides are good people” nonsense about neo-Nazis to defend himself. And it is extremely odd when considering this guy spent two years chasing down then president Barack Obama to release his birth certificate to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was an American citizen.
It is all very, very strange.
There is some really bad shit in there. I mean, catastrophically bad.
Because this what people not in the bag for this president are left to think.

And, to be fair, this is against form for Donald Trump. He’s bypassing his usual braggart/knee-jerk/quick draw machinations to allow people to frame this gaping hole in his bio as anything they wish: a possible scofflaw or having ties to the mob or more Russian crap or perhaps tons of donations to Democratic candidates or left-leaning organizations despite his right-wing stances, or maybe he’s exaggerating his worth or financial successes. Maybe he paid no taxes at all. We can think anything is in there, because he is going to great lengths to keep the proof from us.

This is how public office works. It is not like big-time real estate, which is pretty much a shell game of rampant maleficence meets outright fraud. People mostly find out stuff about you. And it will happen to Trump.
The law is airtight on this, despite the stonewalling by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, whose job it is to hand over such requests by Congress as dictated by the Supreme Court in a 1975 ruling. It is just a matter of time. It always has been. Trump gambled rightly that a Republican House wouldn’t expose him, but his trouncing this past November all but guaranteed this confrontation, something Trump dealt with the morning after Election Day when he did what he did best; parade a pig smeared with lipstick and declared it the prom queen.

To wit: After jockeying during the primaries and even his run for office with his memorable line of spectacular bullshit, “I’m being audited, so I can’t release them” he followed up for a few months there with my favorite, “They’re too complicated and cannot be fathomed by any person living or dead.” The last one was a paraphrase, but even that was more cogent that this ramble from early that morning after Trump got his clock cleaned in the mid-terms: “They’re very complex. People wouldn’t understand them. They’re done by among the biggest and best law firms in the country, same thing with the accounting firms, they’re very large, powerful firms from the standpoint of respect, highly respected, big firms, and great law firms. They do these things. They put them in.

But people don’t understand tax returns. It is a very big company, far bigger than you would even understand, but it’s a great company, but it’s big and its complex and it’s (tax returns) probably feet high.”
From I understand the president hadn’t blown any Tai Stick or suffered head trauma before the above, but it still does nothing to make him look like he isn’t hiding something…again.

And that leads us back to the original conclusion; Trump cannot release his tax returns and survive serious scrutiny, embarrassment or worse. Period. So, we get stonewalling.

Thing is Trump likes to run things like this whole charade is another wing of his disastrous business dealings – and if the NY Times revelations this week that he lost billions in the 1980s and 90s is any indication, then good luck with this – he is no longer a private citizen. He works for us, not Trump Enterprises. And the majority of us apparently would like to see his so-called business genius or if some of the stuff that is in the Mueller Report about his negotiating with Russians to build towers while their government was attacking us jives with his records. Polls range from 56 percent to 74 percent of Americans interested in seeing the president’s returns and nearly 80-percent believe it should be a prerequisite to run for office, much less govern.

And even if Trump’s solid, unwavering 35 to 40 percent zealotry sticks with him whether there’s a lifetime subscription to NAMBLA or investments in Trump Tower al Qaeda in these sacred documents or not the rest of us living in the real world would like to see them. But for damn sure Donald Trump doesn’t want us to.

© James Campion May 13th 2019

Reality Check

James Campion


Congratulations, Mr. Campion! You predicted this for over a year and again last month and it has come true! (TRUMP GUILTY OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE – NOW WHAT? – Issue: 4/24/19) Now that we have the full Mueller Report and not our Game Show President’s lackey sending us half-assed notes and conducting garbled press conferences about “Nothing to see here, go back to believing our lies!” it all comes out. Trump has committed the high crimes and misdemeanors we have been waiting to see in written form. It is and has been obstruction of justice. The question is, as you proposed, What will congress do now? They MUST impeach! If we’re going to be a true nation of laws, the very person sworn to uphold them cannot be allowed to flout them and break them. You knew Trump would eventually fall. This is the beginning. Thank you, Robert Mueller, patriot.

Aguste T.

This column has been on the cutting edge of this story from the very beginning. Three cheers for Reality Check! You did not waver. You did not shift with the winds of the news cycles! You did not listen as both sides screamed this and that! You said it was obstruction of justice, and now that it is in print, ten times, your legacy of being on the ball continues! And now that Mueller, who berated Bill Barr’s bullshit, in a letter (also in print and available everywhere) has officially laid it out in this binding 443 historical document (that generations will study with horror) and practically begs congress to do its duty, the next step is to throw this bum out, and then he can stand trial for the 14 investigations in NY, where he will hopefully go to jail like the grifter criminal he is!


I have NEVER seen a president who hated the institutions, the central foundation of the United States more than Donald J. Trump. He is a political terrorist. You can say he is stupid and full of himself and maybe he has no idea he is breaking laws and treating the presidency as if it is his next business failure, but the day of reckoning has come and Robert Mueller has shown us how to end this abortion of a presidency and return the nation back to some semblance of respect. Because we have fallen so far these two years during this miserable shit show it will be hard to explain to our children how we let this happen. How did we allow this charlatan the keys to this once proud nation being run by a racist maniac, who has zero respect for our laws or anything America stands for? Lock…him…up!

Terrence Miller

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Dude, I hope your Obamacare plan covers Trump Derangement Syndrome. Your hatred and delusion of Trump is far worse than I ever had Obama or Clinton. You are out of control, dude. Get a hold of yourself. If Trump were truly “guilty” then bring charges. If not, prepare to Feel The Bern as he will be your nominee unless Skeevy, Pervy Uncle Joe pulls a Clinton/Wasserman on him. You had two years and a staff of dogged Pro Clinton ideologues and you couldn’t get the job done.
I get it you are a columnist, you don’t have to be a factual journalist but damn man, making stuff up is truly beneath you. Trump is guilty of one thing. Trump is guilty of winning an election that he wasn’t supposed to. Trump is guilty of depriving America of the smartest woman to ever be a woman and run for President. I get it, you don’t like him but making shit up truly weakens your position. You are better than this.


Bill Roberts
Conservatively Speaking

I have just read the key pages of this Mueller Report and I cannot fathom this happened in this country and not some Third World republic. How are we not using the army against this fascist! The evidence in this thing is so overwhelming, the idea that Barr would even waste his time and eviscerate what credibility he may have had to try and warm us up to the incredible disregard for the law that has gone on in this administration is terrifying. It should be terrifying for all Americans, whether you voted for Trump or support him. This cannot stand, not now, or at any time in this nation’s proud history. I am a Republican and I think Trump needs to stand for these crimes. They are crimes. Read the report. Take your MAGA pomp pomps and put them down now. Your nation needs you. You have one last chance to make this right. I stand up for our nation. Do you?

Admiral Quinn Stacey
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy

Fuck you and fuck your high-minded elitist bullshit. You and the media have botched this all along! Trump is our savior. God has sent him to save this nation from the hordes of Mexican invaders, and the liberal minorities who destroy our cities and sell drugs to our children. If Trump has to break the rules and has to defend himself then he should. Respect the presidency. It is allowed to do anything! He won. He should won to make the country rich and powerful like his businesses and his family. Haters are shit. Long Live Trump!

ACCitarts 188

It is rare I ever write columnists. But I have been reading you now for some time and I am always amazed by your sense of the times. You have this innate ability to square up the bullshit and will not allow phony idiots to do the phony idiot thing and then crow about everyone else being phony idiots. You called this. I am taking the time to applaud you for it. I was hoping against hope Trump did not do these things. I voted for him and I rooted for him, but I cannot deny this report. Two years in the making by a respected Republican special counsel. I applaud his efforts and I applaud your continued courage to nail these people, especially this president for whom I am embarrassed to have anything to do with now. How could I? If I am an American first and not a Republican, how can I? How can any of us? Rest assured, I will do whatever I can to make sure this kind of trash never gets close to the presidency again. I pray for the soul of this country. It is in deep, deep trouble.

Bob Tericco

Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at or, if you dare, follow on Twitter (@FearNoArt) and Instagram (@jamescampion)

James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, "Midnight For Cinderella" and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.

Campion/Zevon ** Published 06/16/2018
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