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Trump Taxes

Democrats pledge to get Trump's tax returns if they win the House

The Democrats in line to lead the Senate and House finance committees say that if their party takes control of either house of Congress in the midterms, they will use their authority to obtain a copy of President Trump's tax returns. "We will do that," Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), in line to chair the House Ways and Means Committee, told The Wall Street Journal. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a longer shot to become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he would request Trump's tax returns, too.

"Under the tax code, the Ways and Means chairman can demand and receive any taxpayer's records from the IRS for confidential review," explains the Journal's Richard Rubin. "Neal wouldn't need approval from the full House, the Senate, or the administration." Neal said if he gets Trump's returns, he'll consult with his staff, House lawyers, and Democratic leaders; they could decide to release some or parts of the returns, which would require a committee vote, keep them confidential, or have them analyzed by nonpartisan analysts. "This has never happened before, so you want to be very meticulous," Neal told the Journal.

Democrats have said they want to see Trump's tax returns — which he promised to release during the campaign but didn't — because they would provide insight into whether he has compromising business ties to Russia or other foreign governments, how he benefits from his tax overhaul, and whether he has avoided paying taxes, a topic of special concern after a New York Times investigation found several instances of dubious tax schemes in his family. Current Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) isn't a fan of the idea, saying his committee's authority "is a powerful oversight tool to be used not for political fishing expeditions," adding: "Most people don't care about the president's tax returns. They care about their own." Before Trump, every president since Richard Nixon released his tax returns.