Even in the face of unprecedented stonewalling from the Trump administration, House Democrats are continuing their efforts to fulfill their constitutionally mandated oversight responsibilities. This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sat down with reporter Robert Costa and made her firm support clear for the currently unfolding campaign to get some of President Donald Trump’s tax returns, which ran into a roadblock this week when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee he didn’t intend to produce any of the duly requested documents.
@nytimes underscores the importance of the Administration giving the Congress access to @realDonaldTrump’s tax returns (under request by @WaysMeansCmte), as federal law says they “shall” do.’
The New York Times has shared what’s now a series of key reports detailing aspects of the president’s troubling financial history. Some time ago, they published a massive investigation credibly alleging that President Trump had engaged in at times illegal schemes to help himself and his family avoid taxes throughout the 1990s, including through means like sham shell companies.
Then this week, they shared that throughout a similar time period, Donald himself had reported massive losses that were at times higher than those of any other taxpayer in the entire United States. In 1990 and 1991, for instance, Trump reported a combined total of more than half a billion dollars in losses, which translates into more than double the total losses of the second most-loss racked taxpayer in each of those years. For eight of the ten years from 1985 to 1994, Trump reported so much loss that he avoided paying any income tax at all — which is troubling and suspect at best. Trump has literally at times been in a class all by himself, sparking the increased concern about what his recent financial status really is and how that could weigh on his presidency.
Trump, for his part, defended his reported losses, claiming the piece sharing them to be “fake news” without at least initially specifically contesting a single explicit part of the reporting. He ranted on Twitter, in part:
‘You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes….almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport.’
That “sport” has legal observers eyes trained on him. He’s currently under investigation inside and outside of Congress for potential wide-ranging fraud. The concern got kickstarted with testimony from former longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen, who shared details of the eventual president having adjusted his asset valuations either up or down for his benefit, marking his presidency more by these kinds of issues than tangible help for Americans.
Mnuchin cited the supposed lack of a “legitimate legislative purpose” in his rebuttal of House Democrats tax return request, but there’s little clear legal precedent for that being a defensible requirement, let alone the Treasury Secretary needing to step in and politicize the situation to that effect. Although Mnuchin has denied Democrats legally allowed request for Trump tax returns to use in examining his issues, they’re hardly done angling for them, and a lengthy court battle is likely set to ensue.
Check out Twitter’s response to Pelosi getting behind these efforts…
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