Powered by Topple

Democrats plan to use obscure old law to view and release Trump’s tax returns if they regain control

Powered by Topple

If Democrats take control of Congress in November, President Donald Trump can expect a full-on assault from the opposition party, with impeachment high on the list of possibilities.

But even if they take just the House, the onslaught against the president will likely proceed, according to Politico.

The online political news source reported that Democrats will go after Trump’s tax returns once again, as Pelosi and Co. “are quietly planning on using an obscure law that will enable them to examine the president’s tax filings without his permission.”

Nearly 100 years old, the statute allows the chairmen of congressional tax committees to look at anyone’s returns.

“Probably the approach would be to get all of it, review it and, depending on what that shows, release all or part of it,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

The Texas Democrat sits on the Ways and Means Committee.

The ability to review the returns would bring a renewed scrutiny on Trump’s finances.

Trump did not release his tax returns during the 2016 presidential election, the first time since 1972 that a major party nominee did not do so.

With the Robert Mueller-led “with hunt,” as the president described the investigation of Russian collusion, appearing to fizzle out, Democrats may soon launch a whole new with hunt, focusing on partisan concerns “like what sort of conflicts of interests are posed by his businesses, his ties to Russia and other foreign governments and how his family benefits from government actions,” Politico reported.

“There are legitimate oversight questions that can only be answered by having those documents,” said Sen. Mark Warner, a tax writer and the top Democrat on the chamber’s intelligence committee.

There were renewed calls for Trump to release his tax returns after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year. it was then that the president said he didn’t see any reason why Russia would interfere with US elections — he would say later he misspoke, meaning to say the opposite of what he said, that he didn’t see any reason why it “wouldn’t” be Russia who interfered.

Legal or not, with Democrats showing this past week with Kavanaugh that there are no rules or moral boundaries from the party, there are concerns that the access to private tax information will be wielded as a political weapon, according to Politico.

Joe Thorndike, director of the Tax History Project at the nonpartisan Tax Analysts, said we could be crossing a threshold.

“We’ve never forced presidents to release their returns by saying, ‘Do it or we’re going to do it for you.’ We’ve always relied upon them to do it voluntarily,” Thorndike said.

And it doesn’t stop there.

“It’s not limited to the president – they could release anybody’s tax return,” he added. “Where does it end?”

Tom Tillison


Latest Articles