Republicans: 'Privacy laws' prevent public from seeing Trump's tax returns
Republicans have come up with a new ludicrous reason why Democrats shouldn’t get to see Trump’s tax returns: Privacy laws.
In a whiny letter sent to Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA), GOP Reps. Kevin Brady (SD) and Mike Kelly (PA) absurdly claimed that Democrats are abusing their authority in seeking Trump’s tax returns, and laughably accused Democrats of “playing partisan ‘gotcha’ politics.”
“When we start making exceptions for one taxpayer, it begins the process of eroding and threatening the privacy rights of all taxpayers,” Brady and Kelly wrote. “This is a risk we cannot and should not take.”
Of course, presidents have willingly made their tax returns public for decades, with Trump being the first president since Richard Nixon to refuse to release his tax documents.
And given Trump’s business entanglements and penchant for lying, keeping his returns hidden prevents the public from knowing whether the president has conflicts of interest that could impact his decision-making both on domestic and foreign affairs.
Seeking Trump’s tax returns is squarely within Congress’ oversight powers, and there’s absolutely no sign that obtaining those records would lead to the kind of abuse of privacy laws that Brady and Kelly moaned about in their letter.
Democrats have already begun their quest to obtain Trump’s tax returns on Thursday with a hearing in the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee on the topic.
But Republicans like Brady and Kelly seem hell-bent on trying to keep Trump’s returns secret.
What do they worry Americans will see if the returns are public?
Is it Trump’s ties to Russia, which even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) alluded to in a private conversation with other Republican congressional leaders that leaked in May 2017.
“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy has said, according to a recording of the conversation published by the Washington Post.
Unfortunately for Republicans, both the law and public opinion about the release of Trump’s tax returns are not on their side — and Americans may very well get to know what’s in those secret documents soon.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Emily Singer.