The Public Interest Is Always Transparency
The Constitution was written with the goal of limiting the power of the Presidency, not unlimiting it
Here’s a little definition of the origin of the word “public” going back to the 14th Century, and before that to the Roman “publicus”:
“Open to general observation”
You know what that also would be a good definition for? “Transparency”.
We’ve been out of the country going on two weeks now, and we think that’s given us some perspective. Not new perspective, but normal perspective that we’d sadly started to lose. (Or maybe things have gotten even that much worse since we left.)
So what we’ve got to say today is simple, and it’s been said before, but is often forgotten in the whirlwind of a madhouse White House and a population that’s described very commonly now as irreparably split.
There’s nothing to be split about when it comes to the responsibility of public servants. That includes the President, who is supposed to set an example, and if he doesn’t, Congress is well within their rights to compel him to.
Democrats and Republicans used to and still should agree on certain things. Trump coming in and stomping around shouldn’t change all that, and certainly shouldn’t change the foundation on which the country is built. Regardless if you agree with his policies. Regardless if you tend to characterize his moves as failures or successes.
If you are in public office, your first responsibility is to the public. Could that mean protecting the public from an “invading army of illegal aliens” if that’s what you and they believe? Sure. But it also means behaving and held to account as a public figure, which the President is, whether he wants to be or not.
So no one, especially not the Justice Department, should be arguing that the Treasury Department need not comply with the House’s request for Trump’s tax returns even though, by law, they have the right.
Here’s a refresher of exactly what the law says (Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S. Code § 6103):
“Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of…