The Slatest

Petition to Release Trump’s Tax Returns Clears Threshold for Official Response

President Donald Trump gestures after getting out of his car in front of the White House on Friday.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Well, that didn’t take long. Less than a day after it was posted online, the petition calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns has garnered more than 158,700 signatures—more than enough to warrant an official response from the White House.

As Slate’s Josh Levin explained on Friday, the petition platform known as “We the People” survived the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump era. According to the rules during the Obama era, any petition that received at least 100,000 signatures within 30 days has to receive an official White House response. It still isn’t clear whether the Trump administration plans to follow the same rules, although they’re still listed on the site.

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“The unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation which can reveal the foreign influences and financial interests which may put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution,” reads the brief description of the petition.

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The sheer number of signatures makes the petition by far the most popular on the website. In second place? “Divest or put in a blind trust all of the President’s business and financial assets.” That one has gathered more than 46,200 signatures. In contrast, a petition calling to “investigate Hillary Clinton for crimes committed against the people and government of the United States” has a mere 167 signatures.

Last week, Trump reiterated his refusal to release the tax returns, insisting that journalists were the only ones interested in the documents. Yet polling data has consistently shown that “a majority of Americans want to know what’s in Trump’s tax records,” notes PolitiFact.

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