Report: Trump attorney tried to exempt him from signing off on financial forms
President Trump's attorney, Sheri Dillon, reportedly wanted his 2016 personal financial disclosure to be filed without his signature confirming the contents; however she relented after getting push back from the director of the Office of Government Ethics, or OGE, Walter Shaub.
According to the Associated Press, or AP, Shaub notified Dillon in a May 10 letter, "As we discussed, OGE will provide this assistance on the condition that the President is committed to certifying that the contents of his report are true, complete and correct." He added, 'When we met on April 27, 2017, you requested that he be excused from providing this certification."
The AP report then states that "in her letter to Shaub, Dillon says the president will 'sign and file' documents regarding his 2016 financials by mid-June — an indication that she agreed to the OGE requirement that the president certify the information as true to the best of his knowledge."
While Trump is not legally required to file the document in his first year of office, doing so continues the practice carried out by his predecessors, former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, notes the Washington Post. According to the media outlet, "The filing will provide a look at the assets, debts and transactions of Trump's real estate empire during the presidential election year."
However, unlike a tax return, which Trump has not released, the information that is collected is said to be too broad to determine a net worth, and other numbers like exact income and charitable giving may not be included.
The president had previously released a financial disclosure from 2015. The New York Times determined from the documents that, at the time, he had at least $1.5 billion in assets—the bulk of which was in real estate and golf resorts.
And while it appears that he had at least $615 million in income and $61 million in stock market-related investments, he also had at least $315 million in liabilities.
Meanwhile, the White House has continued to claim that President Trump would not be releasing his tax returns because he is still under an audit even though the IRS has indicated that he is not legally prohibited from doing so.