The excuses and defenses being offered by Trump, his aides and his sycophants in the media for his refusal to release his tax returns just keep getting worse and worse. Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal went on Fox News (of course) and offered this transparently ridiculous and irrelevant argument:
BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): Just to get a little deeper in the story, Steve Mnuchin was on with Maria [Bartiromo] this morning on Fox Business and he said what he wants to be very careful about is not weaponizing the IRS. He said, “I’ll follow the law,” but he wants to make sure that doesn’t happen. Go ahead, Dan.
DANIEL HENNINGER (WALL STREET JOURNAL): Well, I think he doesn’t want to weaponize the president’s tax return as well. Look, Donald Trump, going back to the Republican primaries, has refused to release his tax returns. And I think he has just committed himself to doing that. He’s going to take whatever political flak results from it. There will be a legal battle over releasing these returns. And look, he was a New York state — city real estate developer. I can’t imagine a single other real estate developer in New York City who would want to release his tax returns. They’re very complicated. Some years they make no money, some years they make a lot of money. And I just don’t think the president wants to expose himself to putting out a return that the Democrats or the press can elevate and say look at that, that is something that should insult all Americans.
I’d like to ask Henninger a follow-up question: Do you know any other real estate developers in New York who are president? Or who promised on national television to release their tax returns? No, you don’t. Of course he doesn’t want to release his tax returns. No one would. But that is utterly irrelevant to whether he should do so. They are two entirely different questions.