With the Democrats taking control of the House after Tuesday’s midterm elections, President Donald Trump has offered a new excuse in regards to pressure to release his tax returns that bordered on bizarre, according to reports from Business Insider.
Asked during a news conference about the likelihood of Democrats to use their new power to force the release of his tax returns, Trump revealed that the major reason he won’t make his tax returns a matter of public record is because people would simply be too confused by them.
Trump told the media gathered, “Look, as I’ve told you, they’re under audit, they’re extremely complex. People wouldn’t understand them.”
While introducing a new string of logic in protecting his returns, Trump went on to deploy his usual reasoning of his current audit as an explanation.
President Trump said, “It’s a very complex instrument and I think that people wouldn’t understand it but if I were finished with the audit, I would have an open mind to it, I will say that. But I don’t want to do it during the audit. “
While the status of the audit that Trump is currently undergoing has been kept under wraps, an argument has been put forward by legal scholars that Congress should still be given legal access to the documents despite the current review by the Internal Revenue Service.
Trump’s inability to disclose his tax returns has been a constant theme for Democrats since he became the Republican nominee. Detractors of the president have argued that by releasing his tax returns, Trump would make it clear that he is gaining no financial benefit from his role, and that he would have no conflict of interest in his relationship with foreign governments. Due to being the minority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Democrats were unable to bring any action from their rhetoric.
That has all changed now that the Democrats have gained control of the House, with the party now capable of launching an investigation into Trump’s business dealings — investigations which could include compelling the president to release his tax records. Speaking to NBC, Representative Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the tax returns will be released eventually, whether it’s done by Trump or not.
Swalwell said, “The American people will see his tax returns, not because of any voyeuristic interest but because they should know if he’s corrupt.”
Trump’s taxes recently came under renewed scrutiny after a New York Times report revealed that both Trump — and his father Fred — had fraudulently hidden millions of dollars worth of taxable income over the course of three decades.