A NJ US congressman is claiming that a rarely invoked 1924 law can be used to collect our republican President Donald Trump’s IRS tax returns for possible “conflicts of interest” and constitutional infractions.
We who are a part of the resistance need to contact the office of Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) at phone: (202) 225-4901, to demand that he request the our president’s IRS tax returns as per the 1924 law. He has to be the one to officially make this request. Here is a link for other contact information, Contact – Kevin Brady – U.S. House of Representatives.
On 2/7/17, George K. Yin, a professor of law and taxation at the University of Virginia and a former chief of staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation has penned an article on this 1924 law for the Washington Post.
Here are excerpts from the op-ed piece, “Congress has the power to obtain and release Trump’s tax returns:”
“Though our new president may not realize it, Congress has the power to obtain his tax returns and reveal them to the public without his consent, including returns under audit. As just urged by Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.), legislators seeking information on President Trump’s possible conflicts of interest should immediately exercise this authority rather than wait for the passage of new veto-proof legislation — a highly uncertain prospect — that would have the same effect.”
“The ability of Congress to disclose confidential tax information was added to the law almost 100 years ago. Since the Civil War, when it began requiring taxpayers to submit private information to the government to comply with the tax laws, Congress has struggled to balance the privacy interests of taxpayers with the public’s right to know. Eventually, Congress decided that tax information should remain confidential except in two situations. First, it authorized the president to determine whether any tax information could be disclosed. And, in 1924, it gave the same power to certain congressional committees.”
“Congress’s right to reveal tax information independent of the president’s authority proved extremely important in 1973 and 1974, when President Richard Nixon became entangled in a controversy involving his claim of a sizable charitable deduction for giving his official papers to the National Archives. Nixon initially stonewalled the inquiries, including making his famous statement that “I am not a crook.” When the pressure increased, he contended correctly that the IRS had already audited the pertinent returns and not ordered any change.”
As per Herb Jackson of USA Today on 2/11/17, “Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat who serves on the Ways and Means Committee, has asked the committee’s chairman, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, to order the Treasury Department to provide tax returns to the committee. Brady’s office did not respond to a request for comment Friday.”
“After privately examining returns — Pascrell is seeking 10 years’ worth — the committee could decide to share them with the full House, which would in effect make them public.”
“The 1924 law gives congressional committees that set tax policy the power to examine tax returns. It was used in 1974 when Congress looked at President Richard Nixon’s returns, and in 2014 when the Ways and Means Committee released confidential tax information as part of its investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of applications for nonprofit status.”
“Trump said during the campaign he would not release his returns because he was being audited. After the inauguration, adviser Kellyanne Conway said he would not release them because the public did not care.”
On 2/11/17 Jonathan D. Salante of NJ.com penned this article, “Can Trump be forced to release his tax returns?”
“While President Donald Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns to the American public, he can’t deny a request from Congress.”
“So says U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.), the only New Jersey member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.”
“In a letter to committee chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Pascell asked him to formally request that the U.S. Treasury Department turn over 10 years of Trump’s tax returns, and let the lawmakers decide whether to make them public.” “President Trump is now governing while also owning a business with international investments,” Pascrell said. “The Constitution faces unprecedented threats due to this arrangement. I believe the powerful Ways and Means Committee has the responsibility to use that power to ensure proper oversight of the executive branch by requesting a review of President Trump’s tax returns.”Pascrell said that Congress needs the returns to be able to see whether there are any conflicts of interest between White House actions and Trump’s businesses.
“For example, Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim nations excludes those where his companies have investments.”
“President Trump has chosen to keep an ownership stake in his businesses, the scope of which we have no knowledge of as he has refused to disclose his tax returns,” Pascrell said. “None of these potential conflicts can be verified until and unless we have disclosure from President Trump.”