He has just asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether he should release his returns. I find this mystifying. Sure, everyone has a right to privacy — if I were asked to hand over my tax information to some random person, I’d resist on principle, but if I were given a subpoena and told to hand them over to authorities, I’d comply. I gave them to the IRS, after all.
This zealous refusal is peculiar and excessive, which makes me even more curious about what’s in there. There are two alternatives: 1) his tax returns are scrupulously honest and accurate, but he finds the truth embarrassing, so embarrassing that he would risk his reputation, low as it is, to hide them. Or 2) he lied, and they contain so much irresistible bait for investigative journalism that he fears he’ll be in legal jeopardy if they’re exposed.
I’m inclined to believe there are skeletons in there.
His defense is that a ruling against him would open the doors to all kinds of legal shenanigans against the presidency, although that’s never harmed a president before, and that he is above the law and gets to do whatever he wants while in office. That’s worrisome: he has incentive to never give up the presidency, and when he is expelled in 2020 or, dog forbid, in 2024, he’s going to fight like hell against the law.