Trump's name could be struck off election ballot papers in Washington unless he releases his tax returns

The bill passed by the state senate has been sent to the House of Representatives for approval, and if passed "will definitely be challenged in court"


                            Trump's name could be struck off election ballot papers in Washington unless he releases his tax returns

Washington's state Senate has passed a bill that could see President Donald Trump's name struck off 2020 presidential election ballots unless he releases his tax returns of the past five years.

Reports state that the senators approved the bill 28 votes to 21 on Tuesday, sending it to the House of Representatives for approval.

The move, according to lawyers is "likely Constitutional" but warned that it "will definitely be challenged in court" if it passes the House of Representatives, the Daily Mail reported.

Democrats reportedly supported the bill, saying that it was imperative to restore democratic norms after Trump broke 40 years of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on border security during a Rose Garden event at the White House February 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump said he would declare a national emergency to free up federal funding to build a wall along the southern border. (Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on border security during a Rose Garden event at the White House February 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump said he would declare a national emergency to free up federal funding to build a wall along the southern border. (Getty Images)

 

Republicans, however, have said that the bill will trigger an expensive legal fight for the state while politicizing how elections are run in the state.

Republican Hans Zeiger, while talking to CBS, said: "We're on really risky ground when we're trying to place conditions on a federal election."

Washington is not the first state in the country which has attempted to pass such a law. A similar bill was passed in New Jersey in February, however, it was later vetoed by Governor Chris Christie, who called the legislation a "political stunt."

Trump, after his 2016 presidential elections win, became the first president since Richard Nixon to refuse to release his tax returns. The Republican had initially said that he would eventually release his returns once an IRS audit was complete. However, he has reneged on that pledge since.

People participate in a Tax Day protest on April 15, 2017 in New York City. Activists in cities across the nation are marching today to call on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Getty Images)
People participate in a Tax Day protest on April 15, 2017 in New York City. Activists in cities across the nation are marching today to call on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Getty Images)

Nixon was also the first president to have his tax returns disclosed after claims of corruption. The claims were made after an official at the IRS leaked the details to the press. Since then it has become an established norm for presidential candidates to release their returns during the election to prove they are 'clean'. 

If the Republican president's tax returns are released, they would reveal Trump's source of income, his earnings, and strategies he used to minimize his tax bill, along with other related information about his financial status.