Of the many dumb things that Donald Trump has ever said—and there have been lots and lots of them—bragging about being “smart” for not paying his taxes is right up there with crowing about how he likes grab women “by the p*ssy” in most despicable quotes. Yet here were are, more than five years and one full presidential term later, and the former president is still desperate to prevent his tax returns from ever seeing the light of day.
As NBC News reports, Trump’s lawyers were pleading with a federal judge on Tuesday to prevent their client’s tax returns from being handed over to the House Ways and Means Committee via either the Treasury Department and/or the IRS. While committee chairman Richard Neal has requested the returns as part of an ongoing examination into how the President of the United States’ taxes are audited by the IRS, lawyers for Trump are calling bullsh*t and saying that the real goal is to find something embarrassing about their client. Which seems like an argument that only the lawyer for someone with something really embarrassing hiding in their tax returns might make.
According to NBC News, lawyers for Trump issued a statement claiming:
“No one believes that Chairman Neal requested President Trump’s tax returns so he can study legislation about IRS audits. No one. Chairman Neal admits that this justification was a mere litigation strategy. His fellow Committee-Members don’t buy it either.
Anyone who’s paid even minimal attention to American politics understands what’s happening here: President Trump did not voluntarily disclose his tax returns during the campaign, his political opponents assume the information would damage him, and so his opponents want to force the disclosure.”
Back in July, according to The Hill, the Department of Justice weighed in on the matter and ruled that the Treasury Department must hand over Trump’s taxes, as requested. “The statute at issue here is unambiguous: ‘Upon written request’ of the chairman of one of the three congressional tax committees, the Secretary ‘shall furnish’ the requested tax information to the Committee,” Dawn Johnsen, a Biden-appointed acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, said at the time. Still, Team Trump isn’t budging—and they’re invoking that whole executive privilege-type argument yet again in saying that “The committee’s request is effectively a request to a sitting president: it was issued while President Trump was in office, was continuously pursued, and has always been tied to his status as president.”
Whether that argument holds any water is yet to be determined, but a hearing has been scheduled for November 16th in order to attempt to sort it out.
(Via NBC News)