President Donald Trump once again said he would not hand over copies of his tax returns as long as the IRS is auditing him.
“I would love to give them, but I’m not going to do it while I’m under audit,” Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday, reported USA Today.
Trump has long refused to release any of his tax records. Democrats have requested to see them ever since Trump won the presidential election in 2016, but the president has maintained that he is not obligated to show them to anyone while he is being audited.
When speaking with reporters, he said that he had submitted to Congress a summary of his records — a summary that included assets and values. He also said that the public does not care about the matter as much as congressional Democrats do.
Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS for Trump’s personal and business tax returns dating back to 2013. In a letter to the IRS, Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, who is also chairman of the committee, cited a law that allowed Congress the right to review tax returns for legislative purposes. Neal requested that they be turned over by the end of today.
If the IRS refuses to release the records, the committee could issue a subpoena for them, according to USA Today. Congressional Democrats have said that the law entitles them to review the president’s tax records, but Trump aides have suggested they would go to court to test the constitutionality of such any such right.
Trump attorney William Convoy reportedly sent the IRS a letter that objected to any such release, citing privacy issues. Moreover, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that Democrats would never obtain Trump’s tax returns.
White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway also told reporters that the Democrat demands were just a “backdoor way” to harass and embarrass the president.
"I haven't seen the report," says senior WH advisor @KellyannePolls of the Mueller Report. Says the Democrats demand for @POTUS tax returns "just a backdoor way to harass and embarass the president." Says @POTUS already produced 100s of pages of financial disclosure documents. pic.twitter.com/wWTxRTuQrf— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) April 10, 2019
Republican Rep. Tom Reed, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the matter was likely headed for court, reported The Washington Times.
“I do believe this is going to have to be litigated. The Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means Committee is going down this political path of weaponizing the tax code for political purposes,” he said during an interview on CNN’s New Day show.
Trump has been the first U.S. president that has not released his financial reports since Richard Nixon started the tradition.