Trump insists Dems won't rush him to release tax returns when new House majority takes over
Probable House committee chairs hint at the prospect of subpoenas, hearings and investigations of all things Trump; Doug McKelway reports from Capitol Hill.
President Trump on Wednesday reiterated that he won’t release his personal tax returns or those for the Trump Organization until a review of the records is completed.
His comment came in the wake Tuesday's midterm elections in which Democrats regained control of the House and openly said they will use their new majority to legally force the president to reveal information about his finances.
“They’re under audit, they have been for a long time, they’re extremely complex, people wouldn’t understand them,” Trump said about the tax records during a post-election news conference. “Nobody turns over a return when it’s under audit.”
But top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi and other members of her party didn’t hide their plans to instruct the Treasury to provide access to Trump's records.
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., who will lead the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, will be able to formally request anyone’s tax returns.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, told reporters Wednesday that such a request will be made as soon as Democrats officially take control of the House in January.
“We need to give every major provision of this new tax law scrutiny that Republicans refused to provide last year,” he said in reference to Trump’s tax returns. “I think it’s important for our oversight to get those tax returns.”
“We need to give every major provision of this new tax law scrutiny that Republicans refused to provide last year. I think it’s important for our oversight to get those tax returns.”— Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett
But some warn that Democrats could overplay their hand by weaponizing their control of House committees to undermine Trump’s presidency.
“The prospect of getting Trump’s tax returns is pretty compelling,” Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist, told Bloomberg. “But there is a lot of other stuff that is even more important and more interesting to voters.”
Democrats could also get burned if the tax returns fail to yield any damaging information, allowing Trump to accuse the Democrat-controlled House of partisanship and using their majority to target their political enemies – all while obstructing actual legislative efforts.
More than 40 percent of Americans surveyed said in October that they weren’t interested in Trump’s tax returns, according to Bloomberg. The PoliticoPro/Morning Consult poll was conducted after an exhaustively investigative New York Times report that alleged Trump dodged paying taxes over the years.