A Republican Senator Signals Interest in Trump’s Tax Returns

January 10, 2019

By Laura Davison and Kaustuv Basu

WASHINGTON — Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley said he’s examining his authority to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a move to ensure he could see any forms his Democratic counterpart in the House potentially receives.

Grassley said he’s planning to meet with nonpartisan congressional tax advisers to learn more about the process. Under a decades-old law, the heads of the tax-writing committees in the House and Senate can request the tax returns of any taxpayer, including the president, from the Treasury Department.

Still, the Iowa Republican cautioned that he hasn’t yet made a decision about whether he would ask Treasury to release the documents.

“Don’t interpret this as looking into it, but I’m going to have a briefing by Joint Tax on what all of this involves before I answer any questions,” Grassley told reporters on Wednesday, referring to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

Trump departed from roughly 40 years of tradition for presidential candidates by refusing to release his tax returns during the 2016 campaign. The forms, or some of the information they contain, could effectively become public if the committees vote to release them. Democrats have said Trump should release his returns to disclose any potential foreign business dealings or conflicts with the tax overhaul he signed in 2017.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, has said he’s consulting his committee’s lawyers on the best way to use his authority to obtain Trump’s tax information. He’s said he’s “intent” on doing it, but hasn’t announced a timetable for submitting the request.

Last year, after regaining the majority in the November midterm elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it would be among the first things Democrats do in January. More recently, Pelosi has deferred to Neal on the process, who said he wants to be sure the request complies fully with the law.

Grassley said during a December floor speech that he wouldn’t engage in “political fishing expeditions” and wouldn’t go along with efforts to “weaponize the authority of tax-writing committees to access tax returns for political purposes.”

The process could turn into a protracted legal battle if Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin decides to delay sending the tax documents to Congress. Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani has also said Democrats could face difficulties making the case that the request is for oversight purposes, rather than being politically motivated.

———

©2019 Bloomberg News

Visit Bloomberg News at www.bloomberg.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

In The News

Trump Says He's Not Firing Kellyanne Conway in Wake of Hatch Act Report White House
Trump Says He's Not Firing Kellyanne Conway in Wake of Hatch Act Report
June 14, 2019
by Elin Johnson

WASHINGTON -  President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has no plans to fire Kellyanne Conway after an independent federal agency recommended that she be removed from her job after she repeatedly used her official position for political purposes. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel... Read More

US-Saudi Alliance Faces Increased Scrutiny Over MBS Behavior Foreign Affairs
US-Saudi Alliance Faces Increased Scrutiny Over MBS Behavior
June 14, 2019
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - The strategic alliance between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dates back to World War II, though the primary focus in the early years of the relationship at that time was oil. The alliance between Washington and Riyadh has since changed,... Read More

DC Circuit Rejects Trump Policy of Blocking Abortions for Undocumented Teens Civil Rights
DC Circuit Rejects Trump Policy of Blocking Abortions for Undocumented Teens
June 14, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the Trump administration's policy of blocking abortions sought by undocumented pregnant teenagers in federal custody cannot "be squared with Supreme Court precedent." In 2017, the Trump administration adopted a policy that required Scott Lloyd, then-director... Read More

‘I will try not to kill u.’ Then, a CHP Officer and His Estranged Wife Were Dead In The News
‘I will try not to kill u.’ Then, a CHP Officer and His Estranged Wife Were Dead

SUTTER CREEK, Calif. — On Sept. 3, a 58-year-old woman was walking her dog behind a strip mall in Sutter Creek when she noticed a scrap of paper that had been folded several times and left in a planter box near a Starbucks drive-thru. She unfolded... Read More

Republicans Devise Plan to Prop Up 10 Vulnerable House Districts With Extra Cash 2020 Elections
Republicans Devise Plan to Prop Up 10 Vulnerable House Districts With Extra Cash

WASHINGTON — Republicans plan to pour extra money and resources into 10 congressional districts where Republican incumbents are vulnerable amid demographic changes that could swing the elections toward Democrats. The special Republican effort, called the “Patriot Program,” asks party donors to direct funds to incumbent campaigns.... Read More

Trump Administration Rule Would Undo Health Care Protections for LGBTQ Patients Health
Trump Administration Rule Would Undo Health Care Protections for LGBTQ Patients

A new Trump administration proposal would change the civil rights rules dictating whether providers must care for patients who are transgender or have had an abortion. Supporters of the approach say it protects the freedom of conscience, but opponents say it encourages discrimination. The sweeping proposal... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top