Tuesday’s vote on whether to release six years’ worth of information about former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a move Trump has long resisted, is anticipated in the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.
The committee will meet at 3 p.m. to decide whether to make information from Trump’s tax returns from 2015 to 2020 public.
The information was provided to the committee by the Treasury Department last month after Trump’s request to have a court order requiring him to turn over his tax returns and other financial records was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Trump had now lost an appeal to the Supreme Court involving requests for his taxes four times. What important new information the committee might have is not immediately apparent. Some of the information has already been made available to New York’s prosecutors, but some of the information the committee has might be more recent.
The expected vote on Tuesday comes a day after the House committee voted to refer potential criminal cases involving Trump to the Justice Department.
In the course of what it claimed to be an inquiry into the IRS audit procedures for presidents and vice presidents, the committee had asked for six years’ worth of Trump’s tax returns.
Trump claimed that the committee had requested his taxes under false pretenses in his petition to the Supreme Court.
The committee would need to vote in favor of any potential release. It’s unclear if the committee will make public all of the documents it has obtained in response to its original subpoena or just a selection of them.
When an accountant testified at the criminal trial of the Trump Organization in November, it was revealed that Trump had reported nearly $1 billion in operating losses over a two-year span about ten years earlier. The former president had fought valiantly to keep this information private.
It’s unclear when the information would become public if the Ways and Means Committee votes to release it on Tuesday, but it would do so just two weeks before the House Republicans are scheduled to assume majority control.
The Supreme Court offered no explanation for its decision and there was no noted dissent or vote breakdown.
At the time, Chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said, “We knew the strength of our case, we persisted, we listened to counsel, and finally, our case has been affirmed by the highest court in the land.” “The idea of oversight has been upheld ever since the Magna Carta, and this is still true today. The Committee will now carry out the oversight that we have requested for the past three and a half years because this transcends politics.”
The documents, according to the committee, are essential for drafting “legislation on equitable tax administration, including legislation on the President’s tax compliance,” despite Trump’s claims that the subpoena is a politically motivated fishing expedition.
Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the committee’s top Republican, charged that Democrats had erred significantly in their “rush to target” Trump.
Brady said in a statement that “Ways and Means Democrats are unleashing a dangerous new political weapon that extends far beyond President Trump and imperils the privacy of every American.”
“Going forward, partisans in Congress will have almost limitless power to find and expose political adversaries’ personal tax returns in an effort to humiliate and discredit them. In addition to targeting public figures, this also includes private individuals, business and labor leaders, and Supreme Court justices,” said he.