Chelsea Schilling is a commentary editor and staff writer for WND and a proud U.S. Army veteran. She has also worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.More ↓Less ↑
Donald Trump is calling on Obama to release his sealed records in exchange for Gov. Mitt Romney’s tax returns, declaring it would be “a wonderful trade.”
“I’ve said it a lot, that if Obama opened up his records, maybe Mitt should give his returns,” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “That would be a great trade. I guarantee it would be a really wonderful trade.”
Trump offered a list of sealed documents he believes Obama should present for the deal.
“I’d like to see his college records,” he said. “I’d like to see his college applications. I’d like to see something about his past, which many people know nothing about. I’d like to see his passport records, which are sealed.
“You know, Obama spent over $4 million in legal fees to keep these things quiet, and then he stands up and says ‘I want to see his tax returns.’ He’s given tax returns. And if they give more – and I understand what Mitt’s saying, they’re very, very complex and 100 percent straight, 100 percent legal – but they look at little nitpicking things, and then you have another month of debate. Now if Obama gives some of his sealed records where all of this money has been spent to keep them sealed, I would certainly make that trade. I think that’s a great trade. … I think you would find some things that are very, very interesting and very shocking.”
It is unclear where Trump learned of the $4 million figure he cites.
However, as WND reported, Robert Bauer is a former partner at Perkins Coie and former top lawyer for Obama, Obama’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s Organizing for America. He is the same lawyer who defended President Obama in lawsuits challenging his eligibility to be president.
In 2009, WND reported Obama had paid Perkins Coie, a single law firm, $2.6 million between the time he announced his campaign for presidency and November 2009, the month Bauer left his position at Perkins Coie to become White House counsel. (By contrast, a cumulative total of all of Sen. John McCain’s legal consulting fees, from Jan. 1, 2007, to October 2009, amounted to only $1.6 million.)
WND also reported that Bauer sent a letter to plaintiff Gregory Hollister, a retired Air Force colonel, of Hollister v. Soetoro, threatening sanctions if he didn’t withdraw his appeal of the eligibility case that earlier was tossed by a district judge because the issue already had been “twittered.”
“For the reasons stated in Judge Robertson’s ruling, the suit is frivolous and should not be pursued,” Bauer’s letter warned. “Should you decline to withdraw this frivolous appeal, please be informed that we intend to pursue sanctions, including costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees, pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 38 and D.C. Circuit Rule 38.”
Bauer had also represented Obama and the DNC in Philip Berg’s eligibility lawsuit and various other legal challenges.
Obama’s payments to Perkins Coie covered a variety of legal expenses – not just expenses related to eligibility lawsuits. (Since the FEC isn’t legally required to provide specific details on its forms, Obama’s payment records do not spell out the exact amount he spent on representation in eligibility lawsuits.)
According to a 2011 Roll Call report, DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan claimed Obama “incurred ordinary legal expenses … which are proportional to the unprecedented size of this campaign.”
However, the report noted, “Sevugan said some legal fees were needed to defend the campaign against ‘unmeritorious’ suits, including one challenging Obama’s citizenship.”
Trump told “Fox & Friends,” “He’s spending millions of dollars in legal fees to hide it, and most of the presidents, by the way, have released their college applications and their college records. And a lot of questions are being raised by a lot of different people.”
Asked what Romney must do in the weeks leading up to the convention, Trump warned, “I think he’s got to be very tough. He’s a very nice man. He’s a very smart man. He’s a very honorable man, and now he’s really got to get tough because they are playing down and dirty with him.”