By refusing to release his returns, Trump is saying he puts his own financial and personal interests above the party and the voters. That is something no serious, national party can condone. “This is Trump’s bait-and switch-style at its most dangerous. Some Trump delegates and their alternates should write him an open letter demanding his unredacted tax returns,” suggests John Fund. “If he declines, they should declare they will abstain on the first ballot of the convention, driving him below the number needed to nominate. The delegates should not give Republicans a time bomb that could help take down GOP control of the House or the Senate, or both.”
A longtime delegate guru stressed to me in a phone interview yesterday that the media — at Trump’s and the RNC’s urging — has badly jumped the gun in dubbing Trump the presumptive nominee. When you have a delegation this divided with this many concerns, the biggest thing — maybe the only thing — that matters now is the rules committee. With appointees from each delegation, it will hold the power to, for example, open the floor up to all candidates on the first ballot. It could insist on financial disclosure by any and all candidates prior to the nomination. It could include a “conscience clause” making clear that bound delegates may vote their conscience based on new information revealed subsequent to their selection. The possibilities are infinite.