President Donald Trump is dealing with a whistleblower complaint at the moment that has nothing to do with Ukraine.
A government whistleblower is alleging that there has been “inappropriate efforts to influence” the IRS audit program that checks the tax returns of the president.
“An Internal Revenue Service official has filed a whistleblower complaint reporting that he was told that at least one Treasury Department political appointee attempted to improperly interfere with the annual audit of the president’s or vice president’s tax returns,” The Washington Post reported on the whistleblower complaint. Their report was from “multiple people familiar with the document.”
Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, said his panel received “an unsolicited communication from a Federal employee setting forth credible allegations of ‘evidence of possible misconduct’ – specifically, potential ‘inappropriate efforts to influence’ the mandatory audit program” in July.
Neal has sought documents regarding specific employees at the IRS, but has received nothing in return.
The Post reports that the whistleblower complaint was dismissed by the administration because the information in it was secondhand, which is similar to the original whistleblower complaint over the Ukraine phone call. The administration has also argued that the House Ways & Means Committee, which is seeking Trump’s tax returns, have not properly argued how the president’s tax returns have anything to do with the complaint.
The IRS audit program in question monitors the tax returns of the president and vice president.
The Ways and Means Committee is suing the administration for the returns, but Trump’s lawyers have filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed. A court hearing is scheduled for November 6.
“Obtaining Trump’s tax returns remains vital to determining whether he has manipulated our tax code as much as he has sought to manipulate our democracy,” Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett said in a Friday statement. “Whistleblowers regarding possible improper political interference are important to both inquiries.”
“We’ve been overwhelmed with scandal and secrecy with Trump’s presidency the entire time,” said Maura Quint, executive director of the progressive group Tax March, according to The Hill. “I think now we’ve got the Democrats trying to hone in on what’s been going on, and I think the common link that we’ve been seeing is that since before he took office, he’s been trying to hide his tax returns.”
Democrats seem to be the only ones taking the whistleblower complaint seriously.
During a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, J. Russell George, the tax administration inspector general, was asked if an investigation was ongoing based on the complaint. George answered no, according to The Hill.
Neal meanwhile is hesitant to release the actual whistleblower complaint. He told reporters in September that the release of the complaint will be based on “what counsel advises.” He also said his lawyers are trying to interview the whistleblower at the moment.
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