Dem Rep Says Rarely Invoked Law Could Make Trump Release Taxes

AP

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) said in an interview published Saturday that a 1924 law could be invoked to examine President Donald Trump’s tax returns for possible violations and conflicts of interest.

Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked the committee’s chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) to order the Treasury Department to provide President Donald Trump’s tax returns to the committee, according to a statement released by Pascrell’s office on Feb. 1.

“The Presidential campaign is over and the fear that a political opponent will try to use tax returns for electoral benefit is passed,” Pascrell wrote. “President Trump is now governing while also owning a business with international investments. The Constitution faces unprecedented threats due to this arrangement.”

He is seeking the last 10 years of Trump’s taxes, according to the statement, and requested a response from Brady by Wednesday.

After private examination of Trump’s taxes the committee could share them with the full chamber, which would in effect make them public, according to a report by USA Today.

Brady’s office did not respond to USA Today’s request for comment Friday.

“This isn’t for the Democrats or the Republicans, and it’s not to embarrass anybody,” Pascrell said as quoted in the report. “This is to make sure the American people know the facts, and if there are conflicts, they need to be resolved.”

He said that many congressmen “are absolutely intimidated by this president” but that he has no plans to drop the subject.

“If I get a ‘no’ answer on this, I’ll be very honest with you: If these guys think I’m walking away from this, they’re absolutely nuts,” Pascrell said. “The calls we’re getting, the calls other congressmen are getting, it’s unbelievable, we never expected this.”

Throughout his campaign, Trump claimed that he could not release his tax returns due to an ongoing audit.

In September 2016, however, Trump admitted that he could in fact make the returns public at any time but implied that he saw no political advantage to doing so.

Senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway said in January that the President will not release his tax returns.

“We litigated this all through the election,” she said. “People didn’t care.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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