President Donald Trump has previously declared that he would release his tax returns when the IRS is no longer auditing him. But both he and his chief of staff are taking a more defiant stance in recent days.
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have requested six years of the president’s information related to both Trump’s personal and business taxes.
In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” this week, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said the party in power will “never” see the president’s taxes and they “know they’re not going to” receive the requested documents.
“Nor should they,” he added, describing the issue as one “that was already litigated during the election.”
Do Democrats have the proper authority?
Mulvaney suggested Democrats “just want attention on the issue because they don’t want to talk to us about policy.” Since Trump was elected without releasing his taxes, Mulvaney thinks he should be exempt from ever divulging them.
“Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns, they knew that he didn’t and they elected him anyway,” he said.
Reports indicate Trump’s personal attorneys made the case not only that he shouldn’t release the records but that Congress does not have the legal authority to request them. The statute cited by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., mandates that the secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department “shall furnish” such documents when requested.
Nevertheless, Mulvaney insists the law is on Trump’s side.
Every president and major-party nominee since Nixon has released their tax returns.
Nixon did so under audit.
Obama and Biden posted theirs publicly every year, knowing that, by law, they would automatically be audited.
But Mulvaney says no one will ever see Trump's taxes. pic.twitter.com/5dfBsjd1Ze
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) April 7, 2019
“They know one of the fundamental principles of the IRS is to protect the confidentiality of you and me and everybody else who files taxes,” he said, adding that they “know the terms under law by which the IRS can give them the documents, but political hit job is not one of those reasons.”
The debate could escalate through the court system if both sides dig in to their positions.
Should Democratic committee members receive the Trump tax returns they are requesting? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.