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US House committee votes to make Trump’s tax returns public | Donald Trump news


A committee in the US House of Representatives has voted to publicly vote on tax returns obtained from former President Donald Trump over the years, ending a years-long legal and political battle that began while he was in the House. White.

The Ways and Means Committee, the body responsible for overseeing tax-related matters, voted 24-16 in closed session on Tuesday, which was seen as the last chance to commission a vote. The Democratic-led committee discussed the issue.

Committee Chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said a summary of Trump’s tax returns from 2015 to 2021 – when he was running for president and serving in the White House – would be reviewed. Partially edited and published in the next few days.

House will move to Republican control in January, after November midterm elections. Republicans denounced Tuesday’s vote as partisan.

“We are worried this will usher in a round of political sanctions in Congress,” said Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the committee.

It will also lead to further scrutiny of Trump, who recently announced his intention to run for another presidential term in 2024.

At stake are the former president’s six years of tax returns and some of his businesses, part of the political struggle lasted three years on documents.

The committee initially requested the 2019 tax returns as part of an investigation into then-President Trump’s tax compliance and an audit program run by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Title 26 of the United States Code provides that the U.S. Treasury Department “shall provide” to the commission “any return or return information” it requests.

But the Treasury Department at the time refused to release Trump’s tax returns. And Trump has previously stated that he cannot release the documents, because he is being audited by the IRS.

However, the committee found that the IRS had failed to follow its own rules by not examining Trump’s tax returns in three of his four years in office.

Although its report indicated that the Trump administration may have ignored an IRS request dating back to 1977 to mandate an audit of the president’s tax records, the IRS only began examining Trump’s 2016 tax records on April 3, 2019, more than two years after his presidency. and just months after Democrats took control of the House.

There is no suggestion that Trump sought to directly influence the IRS or prevent it from reviewing his tax information. But the report found that the audit process was “preferably inactive”.

Trump’s decision not to release his tax returns marks a significant break in a bipartisan tradition that dates back to the 1970s, when major presidential candidates like Jimmy Carter began making their tax returns public. .

In 2020, Trump loses His bid for a second consecutive presidency and the incoming administration of Democrat Joe Biden have signaled support for the Ways and Means Committee’s ability to review any papers. any tax returns from taxpayers, including the president.

To prevent that from happening, Trump took his fight to court, arguing that he was the subject of a politically motivated attack. But lower courts sided with the commission, asserting that it has broad authority to collect tax documents.

Trump’s legal team responded with an urgent petition to block the release. On November 1, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that the US Supreme Court would Temporarily handing over documentswhen the court considers the arguments surrounding the case.

November 22, Supreme Court lifts freeze without recording any dissent, allowing the commission to access tax records.

Neal, the committee’s chairman, welcomed the decision, calling it a victory for government oversight.

Neal said in a statement: “We knew the strength of our case, we persevered, followed our attorney’s advice and ultimately, our case was won by the highest court of the land. confirmed country. “This goes beyond politics and the Commission will now conduct the oversight we’ve been looking for for the past three and a half years.”

The commission’s investigation is one of many related to Trump’s business dealings. New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in September 2022 against Trump and the Trump Organization, alleging financial fraud.

In 2021, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance for eight years about Trump’s tax records as part of a criminal investigation into the former president and his eponymous organization.

Vance’s team had issued a subpoena 18 months earlier, but Trump’s legal team had sought to use the president’s immunity to block the investigation, which looked into allegations of falsifying business records. business and tax fraud, among other purported crimes.

On December 6 of this year, Vance’s successor, Alvin Bragg, secure a guilty verdict against the Trump Organization for conducting a criminal sentence lasting 15 years to trick the tax authorities. Trump himself was not charged in the case.

Neither that case, nor the Vance investigation, resulted in the release of Trump’s tax returns. But the New York Times obtained decades of personal and business tax records from the former president.

It published its findings in a Pulitzer Prize-winning report in 2018, followed by a second in 2020. The paper did not self-publish the documents to protect its anonymous sources. , “those who have taken enormous personal risks to help inform the public”.

2020 report reveals that Trump only pays $750 in federal income taxes for both 2016 and 2017and did not tax income for 10 of the last 15 years, after claiming a loss of millions of dollars.

Trump denied the Times’ findings, saying, “It’s fake news, completely fake news. Rumors. Fake.”

Neal described the Times report as a reflection of inequality in US society and urged his committee to continue pursuing Trump’s tax records.

Neal said in a statement at the time: “This report sheds light on the very different experience that people with power and influence have when interacting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) compared to those who file. average tax in the US.

“It looks like the President gambled the tax code to his advantage and used legal battles to delay or evade paying what he owes.”

Trump continues to be the subject of a separate Justice Department investigation into handling confidential documents.

The House Committee investigating the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, also proposed criminal charges on Monday against the former president, although its recommendations are not legally binding.

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