I have been hearing some wishy-washy reports on the likelihood that we shall be made aware of Trump’s tax returns…so I went ahead and did a deep dive into the laws pertaining to this event. I am certain we will be made aware of the contents of Donny’s tax returns for the most part.
I had heard that the House Ways and Means Committee could request tax returns from the Secretary of the Treasury only in regards to the operation or observation of the tax law, tax collection or otherwise the mechanics of the IRS and taxation. That is not correct. The committee may request any return from the Secretary without any qualifications (except that they be in closed session), including anyone in the administration up to the President.
Then, why is the administration resisting? Because they can. How long they want to resist is up to them. So they can wait for subpoenas and then force a court date if they like. They will lose. But, if stringing this along is their only interest, I doubt they care.
I would also point out, the reason this statue and tax code exists at all is because Congress wanted to address corruption in the executive branch. That’s why we have this law. The fact that this was never challenged in court before, doesn’t represent legal standing so much as legal adventurism.
In IRS Code:
…and original 1924 Statute:
any tax return.
The original statute also outlines how this information could become public if the committee so chooses, by release to the House at large. It is noted that information should be, “…any relevant or useful information.” Which might seem like it could be made a sticking point except, you’ll be excited to know that this verbiage was entirely eliminated in 1976, while the remainder of the statue was not. So, according to the way it is now written, The committee can examine any tax return and release to the House any information they feel necessary, which would put it on the record and open for the public to read.
…But…according to this expert dude, that would not preclude privacy issues if the Committee did not have just cause to release information and acted in an abundance of caution. Emm, wouldn’t be the first time a congressperson forcibly entered information into the record that they shouldn’t have, however, if there would be a time to do everything with as much deliberate procedure and caution, that shall be the time. That could mean that whatever information they release shall be edited to include only that which is relative to a delineated concern of the House regarding tax returns that the committee needs to address…and that probably will eventually be soooo many topics we could eventually see it all piecemeal over an unknown length of time.
I would also caution that Trump’s tax return information isn’t going to be a treasure trove of info, in and of itself. Really, we would need to see all of Trump’s accountant’s information; take the income statements and balance sheets and match that up with Trump’s tax declarations to really know what the fuck is going on. More likely than not, some of the tax return info is garbage.
Do you think the returns reflect the truth? Nah. That being the likely case, it would take a shit-ton of subpoenas and probably multiple court cases to obtain enough pieces of the puzzle to construct something resembling reality.