Invocation Of Section 6103 In Tax Code To Obtain Trump’s IRS Returns Announced

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Americans are desperate for a savior to come along and rescue the country from the horrors of a Donald Trump presidency, but their impatience may have to be put on hold for longer than they expect. With a new Democratic-led House of Representatives, investigations will take place; however, they won’t have immediate results. The results, no matter how long they take to come, are sure to deliver answers to the burning questions those who have been affected by Trump’s policies have demanded.

The New York Times laid out the details of the investigations beginning to take shape. They warn, however, that it will take time for them to begin and even longer for them to be concluded.

1. Trump’s Immigration Policies

Trump insists that there is a humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border, but his focus is on the wrong crisis. Instead of Trump’s fear-mongering insistence that children are being abused by their parents when they bring them into the country, House Democrats intend to investigate the very real abuse of children related to a Trump administration “zero tolerance” policy that detained children separately from their families and resulted in physical, sexual, and psychological abuses.

‘The impasse over Mr. Trump’s proposed border wall and the death late last month of an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala in United States custody have catapulted the administration’s divisive policies at the border to the top of House Democrats’ agenda. Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, and a handful of other chairmen plan to examine immigration policies.’

2. The Russian Collusion Probe

After two years of bungling a congressional probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian government operatives by focusing on discrediting the investigators instead of focusing on the evidence of criminal behavior, Democrats intend to right that wrong. However, they’ll leave the broader scope of the investigation to Special Counsel Robert Mueller while focusing on the smaller questions that have not yet been answered, such as questions about that infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and numerous Kremlin operatives.

‘Democrats will initially pursue at least two questions — one discreet, the other potentially very complicated — that Republicans in control of the committee would not touch. The panel’s new chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, said it was initiating a request for phone records of the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., to clarify whom he called while arranging a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan between members of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer.’

3. Trump’s Tax Returns

There’s a reason that Donald Trump is the first president in modern history to refuse to make his tax returns public, and Democrats are determined to find out what that reason is. Expecting that his returns will prove multiple violations of the emoluments clause as well as financial ties to the Kremlin, reviewing those secret returns are an immediate focus. Whether or not the public will ever see them remains to be seen.

In order for those investigations to begin, many pieces of evidence must be obtained. Letters have been sent to Trump’s businesses, witnesses to testify to Congress are being gathered, and documents are being demanded. In the end, however, much of the information on Trump’s dubious business practices will likely be answered by his tax returns.

‘Mr. Neal and Democrats do not need new laws. Sometime after the hearings — probably in February — Mr. Neal plans to invoke Section 6103 in the tax code, which allows chairmen of the House and Senate tax writing committees to request from the Treasury Department tax returns or related information on any tax filer. In theory, committee investigators could then privately study the returns for any compromising or illegal financial dealings. The committee would have to vote to make any of the information public.’

4. Federal Spending

A whole host of questions still need to be answered outside of even these more focused ones. For instance, why was the response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma so slow, so bungled, and so disastrous? Why has no one ever been called out for using taxpayer dollars to travel on private planes or for a soundproof phone booth? What in the world is the Trump administration spending federal tax dollars on?

‘As he stands up the House’s marquee investigative committee, Mr. Cummings has deliberately chosen to begin with targets that Republicans once agreed should be studied, but failed to follow up on. They include records related to the administration’s response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated American territories in the Caribbean; Ivanka Trump’s use of a private email account for government business; the use of government jets for personal travel; misconduct by the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt; and the Flint, Mich., water crisis.’

These are just a few of the many investigations planned, but Americans will have to exercise patience in finding results. The answers will come, but not soon.

Featured image via Flickr by NASA HQ Photo under a Creative Commons license