Much like my beloved Boston Celtics, Donald Trump can’t seem to buy a victory these days. Soon, the House of Representatives may get to the bottom of why.
House Democrats are expected to formally request 10 years of Trump’s personal tax returns in the coming weeks, according to the Washington Post and other media outlets.
Trump, the alleged billionaire accused by Michael Cohen of inflating his net worth to magazines like Forbes in order to assuage his tender ego, broke with tradition as old as Ford’s Model T by refusing to release his tax returns. Long unfazed by pressure from Democrats to release his returns, Trump’s steadfast refusal to let Americans in on his finances, when coupled with a new poll showing as many as two-thirds of Americans believe he engaged in criminal activity in the run-up to his election, may set the stage for an approval free-fall, coupled with a tightening web of investigations.
Democrats, who had seemingly given up on Trump’s tax returns, have renewed their battle for basic transparency after Cohen testified that Trump neglected to release his taxes over concerns he may be audited or penalized.
New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Reuters and other outlets that his “prediction would be the next couple of weeks,” though he failed to nail down a definitive timeline.
Pascrell added that he had not been given a firm timeline by Richard Neal, Ways and Means Committee Chairman, the only lawmaker authorized to issue a formal request to Treasure Secretary and Bizzaro John Oliver Steve Mnuchin.
“That’s my gut feeling,” Pascrell told media. “I told you four weeks ago that it would be a month. Now it’s two weeks.”
Attention now turns to Neal, who has come under increased pressure from Democratic groups and lawmakers while tending to other legislative matters and preparing a legal argument to withstand the inevitable extended court battle wit the Trump administration. Pascrell, who called the effort a “work in progress,” declined to say whether he had seen any drafts of Neal’s eventual request.
While Democrats hope Trump’s tax returns may contain further clues to any conflicts of interest, Republicans claim the request for basic, time-honored transparency could set a dangerous precedent.