Democrats will need a solid reason to get Trump's tax returns. It's a good thing they have one

Democrats will need a solid reason to get Trump's tax returns. It's a good thing they have one
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Screengrab/Facebook

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has grave constitutional concerns about the House Ways and Means Committee’s request for Donald Trump’s recent tax returns. “The Committee's request raises serious issues concerning the constitutional scope of Congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the asserted legislative purpose, and the constitutional rights of American citizens,” Mnuchin said—as if the Trump administration really cares about the constitutional rights of American citizens not named Donald Trump.

The law under which Rep. Richard Neal, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, requested Trump’s taxes simply says the IRS “shall furnish” tax information upon request from certain congressional committees. But the courts have made clear over the years that Congress needs a reason: “There is no general authority to expose the private affairs of individuals without justification in terms of the functions of the Congress,” the Supreme Court ruled in 1957.

Neal did provide a reason in his request to the IRS: “The committee is considering legislative proposals and conducting oversight related to our federal tax law, including, but not limited to, the extent to which the IRS audits and enforces the federal tax laws against a president.” The question, it seems, will be whether the Trump-packed courts will protect him and his administration from that oversight.


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}