Lawmakers Finally Have Donald Trump’s Tax Returns
(RepublicanDaily.org) – Since former President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Democrats have been trying to get their hands on his tax returns. The House Ways and Means Committee joined the battle in 2019, with a formal request for the documents. Now, they finally have them — so what happens next?
A Controversial Battle
It’s become a tradition in US politics for presidential candidates to release their tax returns during a campaign. It’s important to note, though, that it’s just a tradition — there’s no actual law that says they have to do so. When Trump ran in 2016, he opted not to hand over his tax returns, and ever since, the Left has been determined to get hold of them. In 2019, the Ways and Means Committee demanded he release the records, sparking a legal battle that finally ended two weeks ago.
On November 22, the US Supreme Court ruled the Treasury Department should release Trump’s tax returns from 2015-2020 to the Committee. The Biden administration claims the Committee is entitled to examine anyone’s tax returns, and now, the Supreme Court seems to have agreed with them. On December 1, the Treasury confirmed it had complied with the ruling and would “furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.”
The Clock Is Ticking
There’s just one problem for the Democrats — time. Right now, the influential Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over all taxation and other ways the government can raise money, is headed up by Representative Richard Neal (D-MA). However, in January, the Republicans will retake control of the House, and they’re unlikely to leave a Democrat in charge of such a powerful committee. Neal will almost certainly lose his post and be replaced by a GOP committee chair and conservative who will likely not be so keen to pursue the never-ending investigation of Trump.
It’s not clear whether members of the Committee have even seen Trump’s tax returns yet; when journalists asked Neal about it on December 1, he was evasive. Even if the Committee already has the records, however, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be released to the public. The law says congressional committees can request someone’s tax records, but also mandates those records are to be kept confidential. Tax experts believe the Committee could decide disclosure is in the public interest — but that has yet to be tested in court.
Whatever the Ways and Means Committee decides to do with Trump’s tax returns, it has to take action sooner than later. DC isn’t used to doing things quickly. And, of course, even if nothing is done officially, there are more devious ways to use the information. As Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX) tweeted last week, “How long until someone leaks them?”
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