Tags: trump | tax returns | oversight committee

Trump Tax Returns: Oversight Committee Won't Seek President's Returns

Image: Trump Tax Returns: Oversight Committee Won't Seek President's Returns

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to an earpiece during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 09:21 AM

President Donald Trump’s tax returns will not be sought out by an oversight committee – a decision that comes after Democrats called for a review of the president’s taxes amid suspicion about his possible business ties with other countries and potential conflicts of interest.

House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said Monday that he would not seek out the president’s tax documents from the Treasury secretary, despite a recent request made by a Democratic committee member, according to The Hill.

“If Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?” Brady said, according to Reuters.

“Privacy and civil liberties are still important rights in this country, and (the) Ways and Means Committee is not going to start to weaken them,” he added.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, wrote Brady a letter asking that Trump’s tax documents to be released. However, that letter didn’t change anything.

“President Trump is now governing while also owning a business with international investments,” Pascrell wrote in his letter, according to The Hill. “The Constitution faces unprecedented threats due to this arrangement.”

Brady said he read the letter in its entirety, but did not agree with Pascrell’s arguments, which pointed to a provision in the federal tax code that allows the chairmen of the Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation to request individual tax returns.

“I’ve read his letter, and I disagree with all of it,” Brady said, according to The Hill. “And, in fact, that letter misrepresents the legislative intent of that provision, which in fact creates confidentiality and privacy for Americans in their tax returns.”

Despite the oversight committee’s decision, Pascrell said he’s not giving up on his request, which would cater to about 60 percent of Americans who believe the president has something to hide, based on a September Fox News poll.

“Our committee must respond by using its legal authority as Congress has in the past to provide proper oversight. This is Checks and Balances 101,” Pascrell said, according to Fox News.

The committee’s decision also comes after Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s top adviser, was recently asked about a petition on the White House website calling for Trump’s tax returns to be made public.

“The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns,” Conway said, at the time, in response to the petition that had garnered more than 200,000 signatures, according to Fox News. “We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care.”

Trump now becomes the first U.S. president since 1976 not to release his tax returns following an electoral victory, Fox News noted.

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President Donald Trump's tax returns will not be sought out by an oversight committee - a decision that comes after Democrats called for a review of the president's taxes amid suspicion about his possible business ties with other countries.
trump, tax returns, oversight committee
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2017-21-14
Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 09:21 AM
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