- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, said businessman Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns should “disqualify” him from becoming president, and said there must be a “bombshell” in the New York billionaire’s tax records.

“It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service,” Mr. Romney said in Facebook post. “Tax returns provide the public with its sole confirmation of the veracity of a candidate’s representations regarding charities, priorities, wealth, tax conformance, and conflicts of interest.”

Mr. Trump, the presumptive 2016 GOP presidential nominee, has not bowed to pressure to release his tax returns, and told The Associated Press this week that he does not plan to do so because of an ongoing audit. He said he will release them once the audit is completed, which could be after the November election.

“There’s nothing to learn from them,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Romney, who has vowed not to support Mr. Trump, said the former reality television star’s defense is bogus.

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan, ‘sooner or later,’ will endorse Donald Trump, GOP strategist says

“There is nothing that prevents releasing tax returns that are being audited. Further, he could release returns for the years immediately prior to the years under audit,” he said. “There is only one logical explanation for Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his returns: there is a bombshell in them. Given Mr. Trump’s equanimity with other flaws in his history, we can only assume it’s a bombshell of unusual size.”

In 2012, Mr. Romney came under fire over his tax history from Democrats — most notably then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, who claimed that Mr. Romney was using tax loopholes to avoid paying taxes for a decade.

Mr. Romney went on to release his 2011 return as well as summaries of previous returns that showed he did pay taxes.

On Wednesday, Mr. Romney called on Mr. Trump to do the same.

“While not a likely circumstance, the potential for hidden inappropriate associations with foreign entities, criminal organizations, or other unsavory groups is simply too great a risk to ignore for someone who is seeking to become commander-in-chief,” Mr. Romney said in his post.

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