Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt from Hedgeye Potomac Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Capital Brief sent to institutional clients each morning. For more information on how you can access our institutional research please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRUMP’S TAXING ISSUE
Trump’s unprecedented refusal to release his tax returns could ultimately shatter the transparency of the democratic process for future generations in presidential and down-ballot races, even as his running mate, Mike Pence, is set to release his own. Demands to release his tax returns will only grow as his opponents will hammer the issue to undermine his campaign, but his obstinacy will have many more consequences in the end, as it adds more uncertainty in a time when undecided voters are finding it hard to connect with his candidacy. Though he’s claimed that he’s been advised against releasing his returns while “under audit,” it’s essential he makes some sort of concession to prove his trustworthiness to voters.
CLINTON'S FBI INTERVIEW FALLOUT?
Despite Clinton’s massive lead in NY (as much as 30 points!) and growing lead nationally, her campaign is on edge as they brace for the impact of the Clinton-FBI interview notes (not a recorded interview or transcript, but notes) that will be delivered to the House Oversight Committee sometime this week. The matter, which has been progressing since early July, was formally requested by Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz who has acted as lead investigator for Republicans in the controversy. No expectations have been set for what's in the notes, but the Clinton campaign would rather it disappear altogether.
The Trump campaign finds itself tangled in Eastern European politics yet again – this time with campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, being linked to a handwritten ledger showing his acceptance of $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments. The accusations have sparked another controversy as relationships and ties to foreign entities are always hot button issues in a presidential campaign - from Trump’s statements about Vladimir Putin and the Russian hacking of Democrats’ emails to ties between the Clinton State Department and the Clinton Foundation. Whatever the case, the alleged compensation is still a mystery and its overall impact on the election - or more importantly, Trump’s poll numbers and public image - could be negative.