Congressional Republicans are pulling out all the stops in an effort to make sure President Donald Trump’s tax returns are never made public, but one GOP lawmaker got his head handed to him by CNN host Alisyn Camerota Wednesday morning when he tried to suggest no one should be allowed to take a look at Trump’s taxes.
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) complained that Democrats were “weaponizing” federal tax laws so they could gain access to the president’s taxes, which he repeatedly said he’d show voters when he ran for election in 2016.
But Camerota reminded Reed that Democrats are well within their rights to request Trump’s taxes:
“It is the law that the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is one of three people who can legally ask to see any American’s tax returns.”
Reed, however, said it was his understanding that the 1924 law Camerota was referencing was only written for the purpose of tax administration and didn’t give Congress the right to see a president’s tax returns.
Once again, Camerota was ready for Reed, directly quoting the law in question:
“Let me read to you and the viewers what the law states. ‘Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on the House Ways and Means’ — which is what chairman [Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)] is — ‘the Secretary shall furnish the committee with any return except that which could be associated with or identified directly or indirectly with a particular taxpayer. That shall be furnished only in closed executive session.’ So if Chairman Neal says he’ll do it in a closed executive session, he has the legal right to see Mr. Trump’s tax returns.”
Clearly flustered, Reed could only reply that he simply didn’t agree with Camerota’s interpretation of the law.
The law could not possibly be clearer. And while Trump may try to keep his taxes hidden, it’s going to be up to the courts to decide whether or not he has that right.
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