President Trump is withholding his tax returns because he doesn’t want outside experts scrutinizing him and causing him to be audited or penalized, his former fixer Michael Cohen testified to Congress Wednesday.
Cohen was asked by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) about Trump’s claims — in defending his norm-busting refusal to publicly release the returns — that he is under an audit. An audit, in theory, would not prevent a taxpayer from releasing his or her returns, Khanna noted.
Cohen said he sought documentation of such an audit to help him to respond to press inquiries about the returns, but never received it.
The former Trump fixer was asked about Trump’s reasons for not turning over his tax returns.
Cohen said that Trump told him that “what he didn’t want is to have an entire group of think tanks that are tax experts run through his tac returns and start ripping it into pieces.” He said he feared such scrutiny would result in him being audited and ultimately facing taxable consequences or penalties, Cohen testified.