aside Why Didn’t President Want To Sign And Certify His 2016 Personal Financial Disclosure Form?

Photographer: Michael Reynolds/Pool via Bloomberg

As usual, the republican President Donald Trump wanted the rules of tradition to be altered just for him. The Associated Press was able to obtain the president’s attorneys’ letters (through the FOIA) indicating that his legal firm saw no reason for him to sign and certify whatever he is attesting to on his 2016 Financial Disclosure forms, since the president was voluntarily complying. The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has indicated its displeasure at this proffer to where the president’s lawyers have agreed that the president will forward the signed and certified 2016 financial disclosure document by mid June, 2017.

Here is the rest of the story…

On 5/19/17 Julie Bykowicz of the AP penned the following article, “Trump attorney didn’t want him to sign financial disclosure.”

“Donald Trump’s attorneys originally wanted him to submit an updated financial disclosure without certifying the information as true, according to correspondence with the Office of Government Ethics.”

“Attorney Sheri Dillon said she saw no need for Trump to sign his 2016 personal financial disclosure because he is filing voluntarily this year. But OGE director Walter Shaub said his office would only work with Dillon if she agreed to follow the typical process of having Trump make the certification. That is standard practice for the thousands of financial disclosure forms OGE processes each year.”

Editorial cartoon on President Donald Trump and U.S. intelligence“The Associated Press obtained the letters under a Freedom of Information Act request.”

“As we discussed, OGE will provide this assistance on the condition that the President is committed to certifying that the contents of his report are true, complete and correct,” Shaub wrote in a May 10 letter. “When we met on April 27, 2017, you requested that he be excused from providing this certification.”

“In her letter to Shaub, Dillon says the president will “sign and file” documents regarding his 2016 financials by mid-June — an indication that she agreed to the OGE requirement that the president certify the information as true to the best of his knowledge.”

Editorial cartoon on Trump administration“Dillon also stressed in her letter, dated May 9, that Trump is under no obligation to file a financial disclosure this year and is doing so voluntarily. “President Trump welcomes the opportunity to provide this optional disclosure to the public, and hopes to file it shortly,” she wrote.”

“Personal financial disclosures include an accounting of a person’s personal income, assets and liabilities. Trump’s 2016 form will span his general election candidacy, election and transition to power — potentially shedding light on the immediate impact his Republican nomination and election had on his Trump Organization.”

Editorial cartoon on Trump inauguration“Last May, then-candidate Trump’s disclosure form showed his business empire had grown in value while he was running for office. However, the information is no substitute for tax returns, which Trump has chosen not to release — breaking the long tradition of his predecessors. Tax documents would show his effective rate of income tax and detail the extent of his charitable giving.”

“Trump’s decision to file a personal financial disclosure puts him in the company of past Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and others.”

“Shaub references that history in the first line of his letter to Dillon: “Thank you for your letter dated May 9, 2017, regarding the President’s decision to adhere to the longstanding tradition of voluntarily filing a public financial disclosure report in the first year after taking office.”

9 comments

  1. Voluntarily filing a public financial disclosure report in the first year after taking office is a tradition and not law, Trump is not obligated to even comply. Of course that would make him look even more suspicious than he already is.
    He must feel the establishment is out to get him, so by not certifying he has a way out in case there is something fishy about his taxes. He’s a successful businessman after all.

    • Dear 1EartthUnited,

      Fortunately he through his attorneys has agreed that he will submit the 2016 financial compliance forms which will be signed and certified.

      You are right in stating that this is not a required obligation in law but it is something that other presidents have done. It is a well-established tradition.

      Ciao, Gronda

  2. Gronda, the President is now down to “zero bars” on credibility. Mark Shields said it best “….this President does not know the difference between telling the truth and lying.” Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      There is no way to tell when he is telling the truth. When and if there is something important that he says, and for once, he is telling the truth, few are going to pay him any attention.

      Frankly, you know that I think his sanity is questionable. He should be asked to resign just on this basis alone.

      Ciao, GRONDA

      • Gronda, I did an exercise yesterday and reread Thomas Wells’ article in the Huffington Post last summer. He worked for DT as an attorney and summarized by twenty categories the reasons not to vote for DT. He is eerily accurate, such as DT’s obsessing uncontrollably over anyone who criticizes him. Keith

  3. Dear Keith,

    I took time to read the Thomas Well’s article that you mentioned. He hasn’t changed a bit. I had actually thought that maybe he had dementia as well as a serious personality disorder.

    And Mr. Wells is right with the fact that DDT does not like to read as being an issue.

    Frankly, our country is at risk. No wonder he does not get along with General H.R. McMaster who is well read, very intelligent, not prone to think like someone from the alt-right.

    Ciao, Gronda

  4. This partial quote, “Trump welcomes the opportunity to provide this optional disclosure to the public,” makes me choke and gag. Personally, I think we should have the right to demand his tax returns, and his excuse of an audit is b.s. that has already been denounced by the IRS and prominent tax attorneys. Keith is right … the man has zero credibility and does not know the meaning of the word “truth”, let alone “honesty”. Meanwhile, his wealth is increasing daily as a result of his office.

    • Dear Jill,

      It frosts me that his IRS tax returns have yet to be subpoenaed because of republican legislators being deliberately in a state of denial.

      I will know that the republican side of the US house Intel investigations are serious about “pursuing the truth, wherever it may lead,” when they have taken this obvious investigative step. Anything less is just for show on their part. But now, I would wait until after he has submitted this 2016 financial disclosure forms.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I’m with you on that! It will be interesting, but I bet when mid-June rolls around, there will be some excuse as to why he still is not willing to submit and sign his financial disclosure forms. We shall see …

        Hugs!!!

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