A petition on the White House website asking President Donald Trump to release information about his tax returns has reportedly received more signatures than any other petition in the system's five-year history. As of this date, he has not complied. Without this data there's no way to determine the new president's assets and/or indebtedness both here and in other countries, which could prove a problem in handling domestic and foreign relations.
The petition demands that the federal government explain what it is doing to immediately release Donald Trump's full tax returns with all of the information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance. The petition received more than 100,000 signatures within 24 hours of Trump's inauguration and has become the subject of a New York Times editorial.
Any economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation that could reveal foreign influences and financial interests that could put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
President Trump has kept in place former President Obama's online petition system, which was created in 2011 to increase accessibility to the government. The site also states that a petition with at least 100,000 signatures will get an official response. A recent count of the petitions requesting the release of Trump's tax returns numbered more than 368,000.
A spokesman for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition, however Trump's White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said that the President doesn't plan to release his tax returns. She later noted in a television interview that "people didn't care."
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 gains.
As we have seen early in his presidency, Donald Trump is a different kind of president.