Congress finally has access to Trump’s tax returns. After the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s emergency appeal to block the House Ways and Means Committee from accessing his records, the way was cleared for the panel to obtain them and the Department of the Treasury has complied. Six years of Trump’s federal income returns are now in the hands of the committee.
The records had first been requested in April of 2019, not long after the Democrats had taken the House in the 2018 midterms, while Trump was still in office. But through lawsuits and an obstinate Treasury run by Steven Mnuchin, the records remained in limbo. Trump, as we well remember, broke with tradition by not releasing his tax returns during his 2016 run, insisting he was under audit and therefore he couldn’t (but he could though, again, as we all know). Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) apparently took him at his word on this, and requested the Ex-President’s personal tax returns and those of his businesses in accordance with appraising the IRS’ auditing processes.
What happens next is unclear. Neal is conferring with House Democrats on next steps, but whatever happens ought to be happening quickly. The Republicans are set to take control of the House in the next session of Congress and have already indicated that they are uninterested in pursuing the matter. So if there’s something to be done, it needs to be done soon. It’s also unclear if this information is going to be made public. Seems to me like it should, but whether it does or not is up to Congress.
The next month could be an avalanche of bad news for Trump, from the findings of January 6th Committee being released in a report, possible charges being recommended by Jamie Raskin, whatever is happening in Mar A Lago Files fiasco, and now this. It’s the last gasp of any fruitful investigations into the Ex-President before Congress gets really, really stupid again and the election news cycle kicks back into gear. We’re gonna need something to happen. Dare we hope for us finally getting to the Fireworks Factory?
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