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The president's ongoing legal battles are numerous; it's difficult to keep them all straight. Who is fighting President Donald Trump in court and why? It's a question with far too many answers. Regular folks can't keep up.

Maybe it's time for our president to start picking his battles more carefully and put one or two to rest.

Opinion polls are shifting on impeachment, and what once seemed like an impossibility now looks to be more feasible every week. We the People are still waiting on the evidence presented to the House before sending the jury out. That is, the Senate.

But impeachment is a giant ordeal, one that will require the president's entire focus. Surely many readers remember the impeachment trial of a certain president from this state. Some might be old enough to recall living through President Nixon's resignation. And the history books tell us all about President Johnson's impeachment. (The first President Johnson, that is.)

Whether the current president comes out ahead of this impeachment inquiry, it would be prudent to put one battle to rest at long last. Donald Trump should release his tax returns that he promised to show once elected. It would save taxpayers some money over ongoing court costs if he'd just fulfill his claim to be the most "transparent president."

Why? Because he said he would. That should be good enough reason to do anything: to keep your word. The president waved off questions about his tax returns during the election by claiming he was under audit. But, as has been mentioned 1,000 times in the press, being audited doesn't prevent anybody from releasing tax returns to the public. And releasing such tax documents is something of a tradition in this country, if not law. Yet.

Then, after the election, he and his people said the American people didn't care about the tax returns, because they elected him without such information. Still, the man gave his word. Some of us would hold him to it.

The courts have so far sided with those looking to grab several years of his returns, including a prosecutor in New York and a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. And yet another court has ruled against the president. From CNBC:

"A federal appeals court . . . upheld a subpoena for President Donald Trump's financial records from the Democrat-controlled House Committee on Oversight and Reform. The 2-1 ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Trump's bid to block the committee from getting eight years' worth of his financial records from the accounting firm Mazars USA."

That should be it, but in our court system of eternal appeals, the president has more options. He can't, however, get past all those hours of TV footage in which he promised the people to give them the information, and to make his administration transparent. Actually, the most transparent ever.

And, aside from a person's word being a bond, American citizens have a basic right to know where elected officials get their money. It's an exercise in trust. And right now, the president continues to show, if not say, that he doesn't trust the American people.

We've heard vocal supporters of Mr. Trump say that his taxes are none of our business. If he were a private citizen, they'd be right. But Donald Trump is most certainly not a private citizen.

There's enough chaos in Washington with these impeachment proceedings. The president can go a long way toward clamming up some of his more vociferous critics by issuing a simple PR statement with some documents attached. It'd take him two seconds to give the order. And another arrow would be taken out of the quiver of his detractors.

And it's the right thing to do. That should always be enough.

Editorial on 10/16/2019

Print Headline: All the president's biz

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