According to CNN, the House Ways and Means Committee is preparing to request President Trump’s tax returns, a few weeks after CNN reported that Democrats were preparing legislation requiring presidential and vice presidential nominees to release a decade of tax returns. Trump is the first president since Richard Nixon to not release tax returns.
Yesterday, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) told CNN, “Well, actually (the) legal case is being prepared and (we are) doing it quite judiciously. (Choosing) our words methodically. This is the beginning of a court case. I think the idea here is to avoid the emotion of the moment and make sure that the product stands up under critical analysis. And it will.”
Tax returns would provide more information about sources of income and any potential conflicts of interest.
In its report, CNN quoted several Democrat legislators who expressed full confidence that Neal would proceed:
“I am no less convinced that that the chairman is committed to one of his top priorities and the committee’s top priority to inquire about the President’s taxes.” – Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
“I know that Chairman Neal is focused on this, but he wants to ensure whatever he does is done in a way that will be completely defensible and doesn’t create more of a circus atmosphere. We are in an unprecedented moment. We have a President who refused to follow precedent and custom and release his tax returns and there are a lot of questions about that.” – Dan Kildee (D-MI)
“I have absolutely no concerns about the way Richie Neal is handling this. He is a complete professional. Frankly, I am happy and gratified that someone of his intelligence and experience is in the role of chairman at this important time.” – Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
The New York Times published a special investigation in October that found “President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents”; Trump’s lawyer Charles J. Harder released a statement in which he called the allegations “100 percent false.”
Democrats expect the request to lead to a legal battle if the Trump administration resists; a few months ago, Neal told the Associated Press, “Then I assume that there would be a court case that would go on for a period of time.”
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmquinlan.