Feb 162017

Wash. D.C. msn.com

A New Jersey congressman says a rarely invoked 1924 law could be used to examine President Trump’s tax returns for possible conflicts of interest and Constitutional violations. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat who serves on the Ways and Means Committee, has asked the committee’s chairman, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, to order the Treasury Department to provide tax returns to the committee. Brady’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

After privately examining returns–Pascrell is seeking 10 years worth–the committee could decide to share them with the full House, which would in effect make them public. The 1924 law gives congressional committees that set tax policy the power to examine tax returns. It was used in 1974 when Congress looked at President Nixon’s  returns, and in 2014 when the Ways and Means Committee released confidential tax information as part of its investigation into the IRS’s handling of applications for non-profit status.

Trump said during the campaign he would not release his returns because he was being audited. After the inauguration, adviser Kellyanne  Conway said he would not release them because the public did not care. “This isn’t for the Democrats or the Republicans, and its not to embarrass anybody,” he said. “This is to make sure the American people know the facts, and if are conflicts, they need to be resolved.”  “We know that the President has business interests in China, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Suadi Arabia, and Taiwan, also in Turkey and the Philippines.”

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