With a House Takeover, Democrats Could Get Trump’s Tax Returns. Would They? | News Sponsored by TrumpShop.net

Oct 16, 18
With a House Takeover, Democrats Could Get Trump’s Tax Returns. Would They? | News Sponsored by TrumpShop.net

WASHINGTON — Democrats, eyeing control of a powerful House tax-writing committee next year, are studying a century-old provision in the federal tax code that could give them access to President Trump’s long-sought tax returns and eventually the ability to make them public. The powers laid out in an obscure 1920s addition to the tax code are clear: The leaders of Congress’s tax-writing committees, including the Ways and Means Committee in the House, are empowered to request from the Treasury Department tax returns or related information on any tax filer. Democrats could use that information to finally determine if Mr. Trump, who built a global business empire before entering politics, has problematic financial entanglements with Russia or other undisclosed conflicts of interest. They could also use such an inquiry to determine whether Mr. Trump violated the law before his election to avoid paying taxes. How would they do it? A Teapot Dome law The law, dating to the Teapot Dome scandal of Warren G. Harding’s administration, appears to give the Trump administration little leeway to resist such a request; it says merely that the Treasury secretary “shall” furnish the requested information. But Democrats expect that Mr. Trump and his appointees within the Treasury would outright refuse to comply, tempting a lawsuit by the House and all but ensuring a long court fight over the legitimacy of Congress’s oversight of the chief executive. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, said in a brief interview on Tuesday that he would advise Mr. Trump to fight any such request and saw reason to think he could win. With control of the House, he said, Democrats would merely be conducting a “circus” and would probably have a difficult time proving they had any legitimate legislative or oversight objective. “It is really for the purpose of political harassment,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding, “It is a heck of a good battle for a president.” Democrats have publicly vowed to move forward if they gain control of the House after November’s elections. Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democr

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