A current federal employee from within the Trump administration has reached out to the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Democratic Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts, with evidence protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 that shows improper influence being exerted by Trump on the IRS presidential audit system, according to a court filing from Tuesday by House lawyers.
Back in July, House Democrats and their lawyers sued Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin after the former movie producer summarily rejected the Ways and Means panel’s subpoena for six years’ worth of Trump’s financial documents, citing the lack of a “legislative purpose,” which the administration and relevant agencies protecting Trump have asserted is necessary before the President’s tax returns can be compelled.
The fact that no such purpose is necessary for Congress to demand Trump’s returns has made no difference in the intransigence of the administration, however, and Rep. Neal has been forced to levy the power of the courts to reach his committee’s goal. But the Tuesday filing cites the new whistleblower evidence in a request for the federal judge to rule without trial that the President and his Cabinet handlers are required to turn over Trump’s taxes.
At issue is the fact that the IRS is required to audit both the President and Vice President every year, and the US has an existing mechanism by which that happens. But the evidence from the unknown federal employee, according to the filing, “[sets] forth credible allegations of ‘evidence of possible misconduct’ — specifically, potential ‘inappropriate efforts to influence’ the mandatory audit program.”
In other words, not only has Trump refused to turn over his tax returns voluntarily as he promised to, and not only have members of his Cabinet covered for him in House investigations in order to prevent their release under legal conditions, but Trump has also apparently tried to somehow either change or avoid altogether the process by which he would be audited as required by federal law.
Rep. Neal indicated that he would not be utilizing the state of New York’s recently-passed law that allows them to hand over Trump’s financial documents in order to obtain Trump’s tax returns, due to fears that he would harm Congress’ federal case under “double jeopardy” protections.
Clearly, the President and his lawyers have met their match in Rep. Neal.
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