House Committee Releases Trump’s Tax Returns

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The House Ways and Means Committee released former President Donald Trump’s tax returns Friday after a years-long legal battle to access and disclose them.

The release came 10 days after the Democrat-led committee voted to release the records in a 24-16 vote. Chairman Richard Neal requested that the committee release his un-redacted returns from between 2015 and 2020.

“Our findings turned out to be simple — I.R.S. did not begin their mandatory audit of the former president until I made my initial request,” Neal said in a Friday statement, according to The New York Times.

The committee spent several years attempting to retrieve Trump’s tax returns and files connected with the former president and eight of his businesses to investigate whether Trump violated the Constitution’s emoluments clauses by accepting payments from foreign governments while in office. The request was made under the authority of section 6103 of the U.S. tax code and will look into whether his taxes were properly audited under the IRS’s mandatory auditing system for U.S. presidents, according to the committee’s report.

Congressional Democrats first subpoenaed the documents in 2019 after his former attorney, Michael Cohen, testified that he misrepresented his net worth in connection to his accounting firm, Mazars USA. Neal requested the returns, audit information and administrative files from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax years 2013 to 2018. (RELATED: Trump Reaches Settlement With House Oversight Committee Over Financial Records) 

A three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals approved the committee’s request to retrieve the returns from the IRS. The ruling led Trump to file an emergency application to the court in late October to temporarily block the committee from reviewing his returns.

The Supreme Court ruled against Trump in a Nov. 22 ruling, allowing the committee to review the returns. The Treasury Department handed over the tax returns to the committee Nov. 30 in compliance with court orders.

The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, who reviewed the tax returns for the committee, found that Trump only paid $750 in income tax in 2017 and reported $12.9 million in losses, according to CNN. The former president paid $1.1 million in federal income taxes in 2018 and 2019, and none in 2020.

The former president accused Democrats of “illegally” obtaining his personal information in a campaign video posted Dec. 23 on Truth Social. He called the process “unconstitutional” and a “deranged political witch hunt.”

“The radical Democrats’ behavior is a shame upon the U.S. Congress,” he said. “This precedent must now be applied to the corrupt Democrats themselves. The new Republican House should immediately obtain the financial records of [President] Joe Biden and his entire political enterprise because that’s exactly what it is.”

Congressional Republicans echoed this concern with the warning that the release will set a dangerous precedent. In a closed-door hearing, a handful foreshadowed the possibility of releasing tax information related to Hunter Biden and his overseas business dealings, the Times reported.