Thousands of protesters gathered in cities nationwide Saturday for Tax Day rallies and marches, carrying signs demanding that President Trump release his tax returns.
Protesters who came from as far away as North Carolina and New York streamed onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Most carried signs and some wore the signature pink hats from the Jan. 21 Women’s March that drew millions and helped spawn the Tax Day protest. Others carried plastic chickens and a few wore Russian-themed hats.
“My message for the president is short enough to tweet. Today across America we are taking the gloves off,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee and a keynote speaker. “It’s time to knock off the tax rip offs. No more Cayman Island accounts for the insiders. No more tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. No more special breaks for Wall Street.”’
Wyden then tore into Trump’s failure to release his tax returns, highlighting legislation he’s sponsoring to require any U.S. president to release his returns annually. “President Trump has tossed this great American tradition in the trash can like a teenager trying to hide a lousy report card,” he said.
Trump is the first U.S. president in modern history not to release his returns – every president since Richard Nixon has done so. Recent polling shows 74% of Americans want to see Trump’s returns.
“Knock off the secrecy, Mr. President, and publicly release your own tax returns,” Wyden said. “Disclosing tax returns is the very lowest ethical bar for a president and we are going to insist that he clear it.”
Ezra Levin, executive director of Indivisible, among the major protest groups that’s formed in the past few months, said the Tax Day protest was about more than just seeing someone’s 1040s.
“It’s about whether or not the president of the United States is acting in the interest of the American people or whether he’s lining his own pockets or serving another master,” Levin said. “Congress has the power to find out and they’ve used it before,” including on Nixon.