The possible release of former President Donald Trump’s tax return documents, which he discussed back in 2011, is causing members of Congress to draw lines about what this could potentially mean for the future.
The senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican, warned Tuesday that committee chairman Richard Neal and Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, both Democrats, will have “nearly unlimited power to target and publish the taxes of individuals”.
“And not just private individuals — political enemies, business and union leaders, or even the Supreme Court justices themselves,” Brady said told collected media.
The former president’s tax returns were a source of scrutiny for years before he ever ran for the presidency and won in 2016.
Less than two months before his 2020 re-election bid a New York Times An investigation has been released showing that Trump has paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years — and only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.
Trump had mentioned or discussed his return since April 2011, when speculation arose about his possible presidential ambitions. Trump deflected, saying he would release his tax returns when then-President Barack Obama “does his birth certificate.”
He spoke about it again in 2012 and 2014. When asked by NBC News’ Chuck Todd in January 2016 if he wanted to make his tax returns public, as was then the custom for presidential candidates for decades, Trump said they were “approved and very nice.”
The returns were brought up again at least four times before his win.
Neal himself indicated that he wanted them released in April 2019, to which Trump replied, “As you know, I was elected last time with the same issue.”
Democratic MP Brendan Boyle, member of the Ways and Means Committee, CNN’s Ana Cabrera said on Tuesday that there is more to discover regarding Trump’s taxes based on information only available to the public.
“It’s pretty clear that Donald Trump and his organization have a major tax avoidance problem, to say the least,” Boyle said. “So I think there’s definitely a lot of smoke here and I’ll just leave it at that.”
When the Supreme Court ruled in November that Trump’s Internal Revenue Service records should be turned over to the Democrat-controlled Ways and Means Committee, it was assumed that a leak was the only way the public could learn of their contents.
Now that the committee appears to be on the verge of releasing the tax returns, Trump is accusing the committee of illegal activities.
“The highly partisan Unselect Committee is illegally leaking confidential information to anyone who will listen,” Trump wrote on Truth Social late Sunday.
Trump even put himself in legal jeopardy by writing on the same social platform on Sunday that his tax returns don’t show the full extent of his company’s financial data, experts argue.
“Trump’s attorneys probably told him to shut up, but he’s not listening,” said Neama Rahmani, the president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor news week. “These statements are particularly problematic from a legal perspective because they are evidence of Trump’s knowledge and intent.”
“Trump’s admitting that he knew he misrepresented his income satisfies that requirement of knowledge and intent,” he added.
news week reached out to Trump officials for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/all-times-when-donald-trump-said-he-wanted-his-tax-returns-released-1768585 All along Trump said he wanted his tax returns published