POLITICS
01/26/2017 04:12 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2017

Petition Demanding Donald Trump Release His Tax Returns Breaks White House Record

The runner-up was a petition to designate the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group.

WASHINGTON ― A petition on the White House website asking President Donald Trump to release information about his tax returns has now received more signatures than any other petition in the system’s five-year history.

The petition demands that the federal government explain what it is doing to “immediately release Donald Trump’s full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance.” It garnered over 100,000 signatures within 24 hours of the president’s inauguration and has become the subject of a New York Times editorial

“The unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation which can reveal the foreign influences and financial interests which may put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution,” states a brief description of the petition.

As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had over 368,000 signatures, surpassing the previous record of 367,180. The previous record-holder called for the United States government to “legally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.”

President Donald Trump spoke at the GOP Congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday. He did not bring up his tax return
Bill Clark/Getty Images
President Donald Trump spoke at the GOP Congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday. He did not bring up his tax returns.

Trump has kept in place former President Barack Obama’s online petition system, which was created in 2011 to increase accessibility to government. The site also still states that a petition with at least 100,000 signatures will get an official response.

A spokesman for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition.

Trump has broken with four decades of precedent by refusing to release his personal tax returns. Although not required by law, past presidential nominees have followed the practice to allay concerns about using the presidency for personal financial gain.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway reaffirmed on Sunday that Trump doesn’t plan to release his returns.

“We litigated this all through the election,” Conway said on ABC. “People didn’t care.” 

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