- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

White House hopeful Joseph R. Biden responded Wednesday to claims or corruption mounted by President Trump by daring his potential 2020 opponent to release his tax returns.

The former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate took issue with Mr. Trump accusing him of corruption while speaking to reporters in Columbus, Ohio.

“You want to talk about corruption? I have released 21 years of my tax returns,” Mr. Biden said. “I entered as one of the poorest men in Congress, left one of the poorest men in government and Congress and as vice president. I made no money while I was in there other than my salary.

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“Mr. President, even Richard Nixon released his tax returns,” Mr. Biden told reporters. “Mr. President, release your tax returns or shut up.”

Mr. Trump has refused for years to release his tax returns by asserting his finances are the subject of a longstanding audit.

Every other major presidential candidate has released their tax returns dating back to Nixon, who did so while under audit in 1973.

“He is running the most corrupt government in the history of the United States of America,” Mr. Biden said.

Neither the White House nor Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign immediately commented on Mr. Biden’s remarks.

Mr. Biden, a front-runner among Democratic candidates seeking the party’s nomination next year, has recently come under fire from Mr. Trump and his defenders as the president faces an impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill.

House Democrats initiated impeachment proceedings last month after the White House tried to keep Congress from seeing a whistleblower complaint that ultimately revealed that Mr. Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Mr. Biden while the U.S. withheld aid from Kyiv. The president has denied wrongdoing and insisted he wanted to help fight corruption.

The Republican National Committee and Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign responded to the impeachment push with an ad alleging Mr. Biden acted corruptly while vice president by urging Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who probed a company with business ties to his son Hunter. Mr. Trump and the RNC claim the subsequent congressional inquiry is a scam by Democrats to “steal” the 2020 election.

Both the Democratic National Committee and Biden campaign said the attack ad is misleading and asked outlets not to run it. CNN agreed, calling aspects of the ad “demonstrably false.”

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