There is something so dangerous to Donald Trump in his tax returns that he has fought through court system after court system in the attempt to shake the Democrats free of their intention. There is nothing that the president has pursued so rigorously. It begs the simple question of why? Today there is a new wrinkle in this ongoing battle between the president, the House of Representatives, and New York state.
Most recently the president sued the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York State’s attorney general, and the state’s tax commissioner to keep those returns hidden from sight. He claimed he was acting as a private citizen in this lawsuit using his own attorneys to file and saying the previous lawsuit violated his First Amendment rights.
New York state passed a law called the TRUST Act which allowed Congress to request years of Trump’s state tax returns. In turn, the state could release the president’s returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. The Trump organization has been based out of New York City, so the state had access to most of the information that would have been in Trump’s federal taxes.
Last month the Ways and Means Committee sued the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service. Its goal was to make certain that the IRS was auditing the president’s tax returns properly. The IRS has always been responsible for these audits. Both the lead attorney for the IRS and the Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been staunch Trump defenders. Mnuchin said no to the Democrats’ request.
Trump’s lawsuit argues that the committee chair Richard Neal (D-MA) has been “facing intense pressure from his fellow Democrats to invoke the TRUST Act and obtain the President’s state tax returns, according to CNBC:”
‘Succumbing to this pressure, the Chairman recently announced that he does not oppose using the TRUST Act and that House counsel was ‘reviewing’ it now. That review could end—and Chairman Neal could decide to request the President’s state returns—at any time, with no notice to the President. And New York could respond to the request nearly instantaneously, mooting the President’s ability to object before his tax records are disclosed.’
The president’s latest foray into lawsuit land was meant to block the House committee from having access to his returns. People have speculated about the various reasons the president might have for resisting the release. One theory was that Trump was not as wealthy as he had indicated to the public, maybe he was not even a billionaire.
Another possibility was that the president kept a double set of books, as his personal attorney Michael Cohen indicated during earlier House hearings. A third speculation was that POTUS’ tax returns would show that he had loans from foreign countries, thus a way for that country or those countries to manipulate the president of these United States.
There has been a long-standing tradition of presidents releasing their tax returns to the public which was one reason Trump’s resistance has caught so much attention.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.