House Panel Votes to Release Report on Trump Tax Returns

Democrats will come to regret this, committee's ranking Republican says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2022 7:08 PM CST
House Panel Votes to Release Report on Trump Tax Returns
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal center, speaks as the committee takes a vote on whether to publicly release years of former President Donald Trump's tax returns.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to publicly release a report on Donald Trump’s tax returns, which the former president has long tried to shield. Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, the committee's chairman, said supporting materials will be released along with the report. Rep. Kevin Brady, the committee's top Republican, raised concerns about privacy as the documents could contain information such as Social Security numbers. The report could provide a fuller look into Trump's personal and business finances, possibly revealing how much money he paid in taxes, what income he derived from foreign operations and whether his income was as large as the reputed multibillionaire has suggested, the AP reports.

The report comes after a yearslong battle that ultimately resulted in the Supreme Court clearing the way last month for the Treasury Department to send the returns to Congress. The committee received six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses. Democrats are under pressure to act aggressively. With just two weeks left until Republicans formally take control of the House, Tuesday’s meeting was an opportunity for Democrats to disclose whatever information they have gleaned on a figure who still shapes US politics despite losing reelection in 2020. Republicans have railed against the potential release, arguing that it would set a dangerous precedent.

Before Tuesday’s meeting, Brady called any release of Trump’s tax records a "dangerous new political weapon" that "even Democrats will come to regret."" Our concern is not whether the president should have made his tax returns public, as is traditional, nor about the accuracy of his tax returns,” Brady said. "Our concern is that, if taken, this committee action will set a terrible precedent that ... overturns decades of privacy protections for average Americans that have existed since the Watergate reforms." Trump, who refused to release his returns during his 2016 presidential campaign and his four years in the White House while claiming that he was under IRS audit, has argued there is little to be gleaned from the tax returns even as he has fought to keep them private.

(More Trump tax return stories.)

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