There was a time when every individual’s tax returns were considered confidential, but of course, there is at least one man who has been deemed by his political opponents unworthy of such a privilege. His name is Donald Trump. Since Joe Biden took over at the White House, the Department of Justice appears to regard things like upholding the law and protecting people’s privacy as inconvenient obstacles to a political agenda. Thus, on July 30, the DOJ informed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the former president’s tax returns must be handed over to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Democrats have been trying to get their hands on Trump’s returns since he became the Republican presidential nominee in 2016 after he broke with tradition by not making the records public. Trump maintained he was being audited by the IRS and was unable to show his returns until the process was completed. The Trump administration would not comply with subpoenas issued by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA). At the time, Steven A. Engel, who headed the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, described the House committee’s investigation into then-President Trump’s taxes as a pretext. Engel claimed the committee wanted these records in order to release them publicly in an attempt to embarrass the president. He determined that there was “no legitimate legislative purpose” behind the requests and subpoenas.
That OLC position seemed reasonable. Democrats, after all, had been focused for the previous three years on doing everything they could to sabotage or incriminate a president for whom they harbored an extraordinary hatred.
Rep. Neal has since come up with what he believes is a legitimate legislative purpose. In a new request for the records, he promised obtaining Trump’s tax information would “further the Committee’s principal stated objective of assessing the IRS’s presidential audit program.” It seems members of Congress could more expediently assess this program by convening a hearing and calling the appropriate IRS officials to explain in detail how presidents are audited.
Still, the OLC has now decided that Neal’s request has merit, and so the committee will get to pour over a now-private citizen’s confidential documents.
It remains obvious Democrats want Trump’s tax returns so they can hand them over to the media. The idea that the Ways and Means Committee is going to study the returns in order to formulate more effective tax legislation or make improvements to how the IRS operates is far-fetched indeed. Neal is merely continuing the Democrat tradition of investigating Trump in a desperate search for some heinous crime that will finally vanquish this man they fear. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made it abundantly clear after learning the committee would be given access to Trump’s tax records. In a congratulatory statement, she said:
“Access to former President Trump’s tax returns is a matter of national security. The American people deserve to know the facts of his troubling conflicts of interest and undermining of our security and democracy as president.”
TDS Strikes Again
In truth, such a statement could almost certainly be applied to Pelosi’s own tax returns or the returns of probably half the current members of Congress. There is no taking the speaker’s words out of context or spinning them to mean anything different from what they actually mean: Democrats intend to comb through these documents and pick out anything they can publicize and portray as proof of some criminal activity or, at the very least, nefarious intent on the part of the 45th president.
This is a futile exercise, of course. Trump’s loyal supporters are not going to be swayed by anything the Democrats or anyone in the media attempt to use against him. In fact, the committee’s investigation into Mr. Trump’s tax history will only serve once again to confirm what MAGA Country has always known: Trump Derangement Syndrome is an incurable disease that drives its victims to disregard laws, protocols, traditions, and even basic human decency, in pursuit of the perpetual victimization and demonization of one man.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.