- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service is installing a safe to protect President Trump’s widely sought tax returns, the outgoing IRS commissioner said in a recent interview.

Mr. Trump’s tax returns and those of his predecessors are currently kept “in a locked cabinet in a locked room that nobody’s in,” but additional measures are in the works to further safeguard the president’s wanted financial filings, former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Politico for a report published Wednesday,

“We’re in the process of turning that cabinet into a safe,” added Mr. Koskinen, the head of the tax agency until earlier this month.

Mr. Trump is the first president since the 1970s to refrain from releasing his previous tax returns, and he’s repeatedly claimed that his attorneys have advised him to withhold them while he undergoes a “routine audit.”

“I can’t tell you anything about anyone’s taxes, so you’ll have to go with whatever he says,” Mr. Koskinen told Politico when asked if the president is actually being audited.

“I had no authority to look at anybody’s returns,” added Mr. Koskinen, whose stint as IRS commissioner ended Nov. 12. “I couldn’t look at my own return.”

Seventy-four percent of Americans interviewed in January prior to Mr. Trump’s inauguration said he should publicly release his tax returns, according to the results of a ABC News/Washington Post poll that month. Sixty-four percent of Republicans supported the release of Mr. Trump’s tax returns as of April, according to a follow-up survey conducted by the Global Strategy Group.

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