Transparency takes a hit

House Republicans—including Doug LaMalfa—vote to keep President Trump’s tax returns private

Republicans in the House of Representatives this week made a strong statement about transparency when they voted against a resolution requiring the release of President Trump’s tax returns for the past 10 years. In short, they said, “Trust him.”

But given the all-out war Trump has declared on truth, who is to say that his tax returns will reveal nothing of interest? House Democrats were hoping for a thorough examination of those documents Monday (Feb. 27) when Rep. Bill Pascrell (D—New Jersey) introduced the resolution. “The American people have the right to know whether or not their president is operating under conflicts of interest related to international affairs, tax reform, government contracts or otherwise,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, the vote was split down party lines. So, naturally, our own good ol’ boy, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, followed suit. That’s disappointing to say the least. Two Republicans, Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.), did not side with their party, instead choosing to vote “present.” While Jones and Sanford didn’t quite have the cojones to vote against their party, they may have placated some of their constituents by not exactly following the herd.

It’s clear that President Trump is obsessed with controlling the flow of information. If something’s unflattering to him, despite its validity, he labels it as “fake.” The fact remains, if he’s on the up-and-up, there’s no reason for secrecy. Trump owes that transparency to the American people. Our representatives owe us that much, too. It raises the question: What do they have to hide?