Defying traditional campaign practice, Donald Trump has decided not to release his tax returns while an Internal Revenue Service audit is ongoing.

Unknown is the number of tax returns under audit. Is it only one? Or is it as many as eight, as it has been mentioned? If his audit involves multiple years and substantial issues, then there are thousands, if not millions, of dollars involved that affect Mr. Trump’s wealth.

This raises the question of whether Mr. Trump is running for president for the benefit of our country or for an opportunity to appoint the next IRS commissioner in order to ensure a favorable outcome with his audit(s).

A really savvy businessman – and Mr. Trump claims to be one – would consider this option, recognizing his willingness to attack and intimidate any official or judge who displeases him. Can you imagine an IRS auditor standing up to President Trump?

We need to have a federal prosecutor or judge oversee the conduct and conclusion of Mr. Trump’s tax audit(s). This is the only way to ensure public acceptance that the audits were properly conducted and that Mr. Trump paid the proper amount of taxes.

Without judicial oversight, there will be the continual drip-drip-drip of allegations that Donald Trump got special treatment and did not pay his fair share. We don’t need this.

Harold Parks

Gorham