Nothing is certain but death and taxes — and New York marches against President Trump.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer joined a collection of advocacy groups on Sunday to hoist a six-foot inflatable chicken bearing Trump’s golden coiffure outside of Trump International Hotel and call on the president to finally release his personal and business tax returns.
“I’m tired of the chicken dance. It’s time for Trump to come clean,” said Stringer. “It’s time for him to release his taxes the way I do and almost every other elected official does.”
The event was held ahead of the Tax March on April 15, a rally that will draw thousands in 150 cities across the country to demand the release of Trump’s taxes, according to event organizers.
“Donald Trump’s tax returns will help us answer the question: Does Trump really have America’s best interests at heart?” said Susan Lerner, executive director at Common Cause New York, one of the sponsors of the march. “This is a bipartisan issue. Americans of all backgrounds agree that President Trump must be transparent with his business dealings for the safety of the country.”
During a Republican primary debate in February 2016, Trump said he would “love” to release his returns — once an ongoing IRS audit at the time was completed. Advocates have called on Trump to release his 2016 returns as he files them before the IRS could start an audit.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Press Secretary Sean Spicer, at a March 31 news briefing, danced around a question asking if Trump would release his returns from the previous year.
Ralliers pressed that even if Trump was under audit, he still can release his own returns. But a way around Trump: Congress has the power to subpoena them.
“They’ve had that power since the 1920s and the Teapot Dome scandal,” Lerner said. “So Congress is being chicken, too.”
The April 15 rally was spurred by a tweet from a comedy writer who was reacting to Trump’s claim in January that nobody but the media cared about his returns.
“I got involved when I wrote something about this on Twitter that got really popular, which made me think that what I said was actually a good idea,” said the writer, Frank Lesser. “It sounds a bit ridiculous until you realize that’s also why Trump ran for president.”