A Democratic effort to reveal Donald Trump’s tax returns has been officially endorsed by two House Republicans. The effort calls on the House and Senate committees with oversight of the Internal Revenue Service to request copies of President Trump’s tax returns.
Reps. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) signed a letter urging the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to demand copies of Trump’s tax documents from the last decade.
The letter was created by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and signed by most of the 193-member House Democratic Caucus.
The demand focused on revealing whether or not Donald Trump has ties through his various businesses that could prove to be unethical as he continues to serve as the 45th President of the United States.
Trump has continued to cite an ongoing IRS audit as the reason he has not yet revealed his tax returns to members of Congress and the American people.
“Disclosure would serve the public interest of clarifying President Trump’s conflicts of interest in office, the potential for him to personally benefit from tax reform, and ensure that he is not receiving any preferential treatment from the IRS,” the letter states.
“We believe the powerful and respected Committees on Finance and Ways and Means have the responsibility to ensure oversight of the executive branch by requesting a review of President Trump’s tax returns and moving toward a formal release of these documents to the public.”
Pascrell forced a House vote last week on a resolution requesting President Trump’s tax returns. It failed on a party-line vote. Sanford and Jones both voted “present” during that proceeding.
The House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees, along with the Joint Committee on Taxation, have the power to request individual tax returns from the Treasury Department.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) rejected a request from Democrats when they recently asked for Donald Trump’s tax returns.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) cited privacy concerns when saying why he wouldn’t make the request.
“My belief is that if Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of a president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans,” Brady told reporters after Trump was elected.