Democrats sue to force release of private tax records, using one obscure law.
If successful, it puts every American at risk of having their private information released.
Because the IRS may be forced to release Donald Trump’s tax returns.
The IRS unfortunately has a very long, bad track record when it comes to protecting private information.
Through the years there have been leaks, “mistakes”, data breaches and just outright misconduct by IRS employees.
But now, for once, the IRS is doing the right thing in not releasing Donald Trump’s private tax returns.
These returns are private and personal and the IRS has a duty to keep them that way, despite Democrat attempts to force their release.
But now, after multiple failed attempts to “demand” the Treasury Department and IRS to release Trump’s private returns, a House of Representatives panel filed suit on Tuesday against the U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service.
The Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Treasury Department rightly refused the Committee’s request for tax information about the Republican President.
The lawsuit states, in part, “In refusing to comply with the statute, Defendants have mounted an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the IRS, and the tax laws on behalf of the American people.”
The law to which they refer is a little known 1924 statute that gives certain congressional leaders the authority to demand tax returns.
The reasoning, according to Democrat congressional leaders; “Congress has a duty to conduct oversight of departments and officials,” and in this case, that duty involves evaluating the IRS policy to audit all presidents’ tax returns.
The claim is the House Ways and Means Committee has the power to request anybody’s tax returns from the Treasury Department for review in closed session.
According to House Democrats, they don’t even need a reason.
The lawsuit went on to say the committee believes it was the first time an administration has denied such a request. They failed to site any time an administration actually received such a request.
The Ways and Means Committee is just one of half a dozen Congressional Committees conducting so-called “investigations” involving Trump and his administration.
These “investigations” range from continuing the witch hunt into his campaign’s contacts with Russians during the 2016 presidential race to the sprawling business interests he has.
The White House is, correctly, refusing to cooperate with most of them, setting up more potential legal battles like this one.
The real danger of course is that if the Courts rule against Trump on this, it opens up ALL Americans’ tax returns to being released at the whim of a political opponent.
Democrats have demanded Trump release all his tax records from 2013 to 2018, which they think might shed light on the President’s business dealings.
The lawsuit, which also names Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said the administration’s continued refusal to produce the materials “is depriving the Committee of information necessary to complete its time-limited investigation, thereby impeding its most basic constitutional functions.”
It asked the court to force the administration to comply.
One does not have to try too hard to figure out if the Democrats win on this, it will only be a matter of time until they use this statute to pull all tax and financial records for any political opponent, or even neighbors, they don’t like.