President Donald Trump responded to Democrats’ demands for his tax returns from the last six years while speaking to reporters on Wednesday night.
“Is that all?” Trump said when asked about the six years of returns. “Usually, it’s 10, so I guess they’re giving up.”
However, Trump claimed he would not cooperate until he was no longer under audit:
“We’re under audit despite what people said, and we’re working that out as — I’m always under audit it seems, but I’ve been under audit for many years because the numbers are big, and I guess when you have a name, you’re audited, but until such time as I’m not under audit, I would not be inclined to do that.”
Watch the video below:
Pres. Trump says he “would not be inclined” to comply with new Congressional request for six years of his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit as the reason. https://t.co/YJyLnTjK0q pic.twitter.com/NEaI8QP5g3
— ABC News (@ABC) April 4, 2019
Both the president and vice president automatically have their tax returns audited each year as an attempt to bolster public trust. Yet House Democrats do not believe that is enough, and Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sent a letter requesting his returns.
“Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, has a duty to conduct oversight of departments and officials,” Neal wrote to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “The Ways and Means Committee in particular has a responsibility to conduct oversight of our voluntary Federal tax system and determine how Americans — including those elected to our highest office — are complying with those laws.”
According to the Washington Examiner, the Treasury Department may fight the request in court. Republicans are slamming the request as using the tax code for political gain.
“Weaponizing our nation’s tax code by targeting political foes sets a dangerous precedent and weakens Americans privacy right,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said. “As you know, all Americans have a fundamental right to the privacy of the personal information found in their tax returns.”
There is no official date for when the IRS commissioner will decide to release the tax returns, but Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has said he would also want to review the returns if Democrats obtain the reports.