"We must show him that we value accountability and transparency," says Reid Hoffman...
The co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, has offered to donate up to $5 million to US military veterans if White House hopeful Donald Trump releases his tax returns by October 19th.
In a post on Medium, Hoffman got on board with a plan devised by 26-year-old US Marine Corps veteran Pete Kiernan.
Kiernan has been aiming to raise at least $25,000 on crowdpac.com in an effort to get Trump to release his tax returns by October 19th, the scheduled date of the final televised US presidential debate. If the Republican candidate does so, Kiernan would then give the cash to non-profit organisations that assist veterans.
Recalling Trump's own offer of a $5m charity donation if Barack Obama released his college and passport records back in 2012 – when he called the incumbent POTUS "the least transparent president in the history of this country" – Hoffman wrote:
"I’d like to assist Kiernan in his campaign. If Kiernan’s campaign hits or exceeds its target, I will match the total amount he reaches with a 5x contribution, up to $5 million.
"In other words, if Kiernan raises $200,000 on Crowdpac.com, I’ll contribute $1 million to the campaign. If he raises $1 million, I’ll contribute $5 million.
"When Kiernan deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 as a Marine Corp Raider, he put his life on the line in the service of his country and his fellow citizens.
"He knows first-hand that a life of service comes with risk and sacrifice. He has the moral authority to challenge Trump to demonstrate his own commitment to the core American values of transparency and accountability."
Hoffman states later in the post that the only reason Trump has not disclosed his returns is because he "sees them as a bargaining chip" to utilise and dismisses Trump's explanation that the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) in the US requires him to keep them private until they finish auditing him.
"But the IRS itself has said this isn't necessary," Hoffman argues.
"And recently Trump changed his tune, saying he’ll release his returns as soon as Hillary Clinton releases the 33,000 emails she deleted from her email server."