Romney and the ‘Missing Evidence” Instruction (Sullivan)

John Sullivan writes in a guest column for Informed Comment:

A Cabinet nominee or a Supreme Court nominee produces decades of tax returns to the Senate for confirmation. Romney should meet that criteria.

The deduction for the horse included over $2,000 in medical expenses. Medical expenses are not deductible for taxpayers unless they exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income. In Romney’s world, horses are more valuable than people.

Obviously, Romney will not produce his tax returns because he knows what’s in them is more damaging that the static he will take for not releasing them. At law, if a person is control of evidence refuses to produce the evidence, then the jury is instructed that there is a presumption that the evidence would be against the party failing to produce. It is called the “Missing Evidence” instruction.

What is silliest for Romney is that he and his aides continue to talk about Harry Reid. One aide compared Reid’s actions to McCarthyism. Reid has not accused Romney of any wrongdoing. McCarthy called Americans traitors and ruined their careers.

Romney’s failure to disclose on his tax returns is consistent with his lifelong secrecy. After a motor vehicle accident in France in which a passenger in Romney’s car is said to have been killed, he allegedly swore everyone to secrecy. No one knows why Mitt Romney got a rare missionary deferment during the Vietnam War– deferment in which he lived in a palace and converted no one.

The records from the Salt Lake City Olympics are unavailable. Mitt bought new computers at the end of his term as governor in Massachusetts. The computers and their memories of his term as governor are gone.

There is a pattern of secrecy. It is consistent with his fundamental intellectual dishonesty. He reminds me of Richard Nixon.

Absent some game changing VP selection or collapse of the economy, this race is over. I put little value in summer polls, but the recent CBS poll indicated that among likely voters in swing states that 90% of the voters have made up their minds and are unlikely to change it. Obama has stopped spending in Pennsylvania. States like NC, MO and IN are coming more into play. Romney is going to campaign in Indiana next week. If you are a Republican and you are campaigning in Indiana in August, you are in trouble.


John Sullivan is an Indianapolis attorney who has been active in politics since 1968. He is a former Chairperson of the Indiana Recount Commission and Vice President of the Marion County Convention Center and Recreational Facilities Commission. He was the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Indianapolis and has run the Indiana presidential campaigns for a number of Democratic candidates. He has also been elected delegate to several Democratic National Conventions since 1984. He worked in Congress in the early 1970s for Rep. Michael Harrington (D-MA).

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4 Responses

  1. I lived thru the Nixon years, and know his record well. Somehow today’s Republican villains, Romney, George W., Rove, et. al. seem to me more insidious and dangerous in terms of the threat to American institutions than Nixon.

  2. “Reid has not accused Romney of any wrongdoing. McCarthy called Americans traitors and ruined their careers.”

    I fully approve of what Reid is doing, but this sentence is inaccurate. Reid IS accusing Romney of wrong doing in an attempt to ruin his presidential career.

  3. Could it be the Reid has the fate of the Nation in mind moreso than Romney’s career? Think about it!!!

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