Things are bound to get sticky between House Democrats and President Donald Trump in January. That’s when Democrats take control of House. So what’s one of the first items on the Democrats’ agenda? Trump’s much sought-after tax returns.
Pelosi knows the Democrats are in for a challenge but plans are afoot to go forward via the House Ways and Means Committee.
“There is popular demand for the Congress to request the President’s tax returns,” she said in an interview with reporters at the Capitol. “I’m sure the White House will resist and so the question is where do we go from there?”
While there’s no law that compels presidents and candidates to release their tax returns, it’s nevertheless a tradition that has been carried out for decades. Trump has stubbornly flouted this as a candidate and as president.
Democrats are toeing a careful line as they prepare to assume the House in January but have indicated that they hope to tackle policy issues that are popular with their voter base. However, they have also said they don’t plan to shy away from examining Trump, his presidency, or his business dealings.
What’s the central issue here?
Congressional investigators from several House committees hope to examine Trump’s tax records. Doing this would help them determine whether the president’s business dealings present conflicts of interest.
Democrats allege Trump is violating the emoluments clause encapsulated in the U.S. Constitution. That clause prohibits presidents from receiving valuable gifts from foreign governments. One particular concern: Trump’s long-standing ownership of hotels that host delegations from foreign governments on occasion.
Having information on Trump’s personal financial dealings would shed light on whether foreign leaders hold sway over the president regarding involvement on his projects abroad, say Democratic leaders on the House Intelligence Committee.
Other items are also on the agenda, Pelosi said. The House Ways and Means Committee will be taking up the issues of healthcare and trade.
Reuters requested comment from the White House about Pelosi’s remarks, but there was no response.
Here’s what Pelosi has to say in the video below.
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