The decade's most triggering comedy
Several years’ worth of former President Donald Trump‘s tax returns are on track to be released to the public by the end of this week.
A spokesperson for the Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee told multiple news outlets that the disclosure will take place Friday, less than a week before Republicans take control of the lower chamber. The tax materials for Trump and his businesses, which are expected to cover the years 2015 to 2020, will be placed into the Congressional Record as part of a pro forma session, according to NBC News.
The panel voted along party lines last week to release Trump’s tax returns following a years-long legal battle capped by the Supreme Court rejecting the former president’s plea to block the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from giving the tax records to the committee. Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said the release would happen after a few days, allowing staff to make redactions of sensitive information.
A longtime businessman before he jumped into politics, Trump refused a modern standard of making tax information public while a candidate for president and while in office, insisting over the years it was because he was being audited, along with numerous other explanations.
With Trump engaged in a third bid for the White House, his campaign condemned the Democrats over the vote to release his tax returns. “This unprecedented leak by lame-duck Democrats is proof they are playing a political game they are losing,” said Trump’s campaign, according to The Washington Post. “If this injustice can happen to President Trump, it can happen to all Americans without cause.”
While Democrats have argued that they needed access to Trump’s tax returns for the sake of oversight, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, echoed concerns raised by Trump’s team, saying the disclosure will “set a terrible precedent that unleashes a dangerous new political weapon that reaches far beyond the former president and overturns decades of privacy protections for average Americans that have existed since the Watergate reforms.”
The House Ways and Means Committee has already summarized its findings, issuing a report last week that said the IRS failed to adhere to its own policy and audit Trump during his first two years in office and only started one on Trump’s 2015 income tax return the same day in 2019 the panel requested access. “The former President’s individual income tax returns filed in 2018, 2019, and 2020 were not selected for examination until after he left office and only the 2016 tax return was subject to a mandatory examination,” the document said. A supplemental report prepared by Joint Committee on Taxation was also released last week, showing how much Trump paid or did not pay in taxes each year, per CNBC. That review found Trump paid no federal income taxes during his final year as president.
The findings prompted Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) to accuse the IRS of being “asleep at the wheel” and assert “the presidential audit program is broken.” The House voted Thursday to pass a bill requiring presidential tax audits, and Wyden vowed he would work to get the reforms passed through the Senate.