Legislation

Newly released documents blow up Trump’s excuse for not handing over his taxes

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is defying a congressional request to hand over President Donald Trump’s tax returns on the ground that asking for the president’s taxes is supposedly an “unprecedented” invasion of privacy.

The Washington Post is reporting, however, that Congressional Democrats this week unearthed a new set of documents dating from 1973 that show requesting Trump’s taxes is entirely within the bounds of political norms.

According to the Post, the documents show that “Laurence N. Woodworth of the Joint Committee on Taxation asked the IRS commissioner to review Nixon’s tax returns from 1969 through 1972.” And instead of defying to the request, “IRS Commissioner Donald C. Alexander said that enclosed in his response were attachments of ‘true copies of the original joint federal income tax returns filed by Richard M. and Patricia R. Nixon’ for the years requested.”

One key difference is that Nixon at the time asked for Congress to review his taxes as a way to show he had nothing to hide amid the shadow of the Watergate scandal, whereas Trump has steadfastly refused to release his taxes despite making multiple pledges to do so during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Treasury Department has so far declined to release Trump’s taxes despite a clearly written law that says the department shall furnish any American citizen’s taxes upon request.

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