Trump Releases Letter Purporting To Show He’s Been Audited Every Year Since 2002

Derek Hunter Contributor
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Donald Trump has been under fire from other GOP presidential candidates and some quarters of the media for not releasing his tax returns, saying it would be inadvisable since he is currently being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

When pressed on the issue by CNN’s Anderson Cooper Tuesday night, Trump offered to get a letter from his financial team verifying he is under audit. Twenty-four hours later, Trump’s campaign released a letter from his law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, confirming his returns are “under continuous examination,” but it does not use the word “audit.”

“Your personal tax returns have been under continuous examination by the Internal Revenue Service since 2002,” the letter reads, “consistent with the IRS’s practice for large and complex businesses.”

Trump is currently under examination for each year since 2009, with the 2002 through 2008 examinations having been resolved “by agreement with the IRS without assessment or payment, on a net basis or any deficiency.”

As for why Trump couldn’t release returns for the years in which the examinations are already resolved, the letter states the ongoing examinations “report items that are attributable to continuing transactions or activities that were also reported on returns for 2008 and earlier. In this sense, the pending examinations are continuations of prior, closed examinations.”

Read the entire letter here.

The difference between the terms “examination” and “audit” may not seem like much, but attorney Jeffrey Blehar says it is an important one. Blehar claims Trump is attempting a “sleight-of-hand” with the letter.