What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Unless, of course, the gander is a registered Democrat. In which case, check your privilege. That gander means well.
“House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, who has demanded President Donald Trump release his tax returns, claimed he had released his own returns in the past,” The Daily Caller reported Thursday. “But according to previous reports, Neal had not released these documents when previously asked.”
“Neal himself, however, has not released his own tax returns when the press requested them. He previously claimed early last month, according to The Washington Times, that he would release his own returns ‘down the road,’ but his returns have yet to surface. Chairman Neal’s office did not respond to the Caller’s request for comment.”
Neal asked for six years of tax returns from the president, from 2013 to 2018, including information regarding whether there were audits and what the status of those audits was.
The Ways and Means Committee chairman said the request was “to ensure that the Internal Revenue Service is enforcing the laws in a fair and impartial manner.”
“It is critical to ensure the accountability of our government and elected officials,” the representative said in a statement, according to Fox News. “To maintain trust in our democracy, the American people must be assured that their government is operating properly, as laws intend.”
However, don’t expect the same transparency from Neal.
“Oh, sure — down the road, sure, that’s nothing,” Neal said when asked about releasing his federal returns, according to the Washington Times. “I’ve done that in the past, by the way.”
However, Roll Call couldn’t find any previous releases of his tax returns during a 2017 survey and his office wouldn’t respond to what tax returns he’d released in the past or why Roll Call hadn’t found any evidence of them.
When New England Public Radio tried to get his tax returns in 2017, he was similarly elusive.
“I think we should all jump together,” he said. “I think that’s the best way to approach it.”
At the time, he suggested that he would release the returns sometime in the future. Two years later, it’s apparently not the future.
As the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Neal does have the power to demand the information, as per Section 6103 of the IRS tax code. However, the Trump administration has rebuffed previous attempts to turn over the president’s tax returns because they say he’s being audited.
“Until such time as I’m not under audit, I would not be inclined to do that,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.
He also mocked Neal’s request when a reporter brought it up.
“Is that all?” he said when told they wanted six years of his returns.
“Usually it’s 10. So I guess they’re giving up. We’re under audit, despite what people said, and we’re working that out — 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.”
Meanwhile, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, called the request an “abuse” in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“Weaponizing our nation’s tax code by targeting political foes sets a dangerous precedent and weakens Americans’ privacy rights, As you know, by law all Americans have a fundamental right to the privacy of the personal information found in their tax returns,” Brady wrote.
“This particular request is an abuse of the tax-writing committees’ statutory authority, and violates the intent and safeguards of Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code as Congress intended.”
Of course, now that Russian collusion is off the table, the Democrats need to find something new to whine about and one gets the feeling Trump’s tax returns will do quite nicely.
Sure, there’s no suggestion that there’s anything within them that would be incriminating, but it sure sounds like a fun wild goose chase, all fronted by a gander who’s not particularly interested in letting anyone else know what’s in his 1040.
This is your Democrat House majority, America. Nice work.
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