By Jon Dougherty
Earlier this month, in a story critical of Democrats’ subpoena of POTUS Donald Trump’s tax returns, which was done not for purposes of “oversight” but purely for political reasons.
The fact is, desperate Democrats are throwing whatever they can find at the president and hoping that something –Â anything — sticks. But the fixation on his tax returns stems from his refusal to make them public during the 2016 presidential election.
Democrats were furious because all previous presidential contenders have done so. But here’s the thing, and we pointed this out:
â€” There is no constitutional requirement for a president to release his tax returns, so all of the Democratic and media noise about the president â€˜failing to releaseâ€™ them is just that,Â noise
â€” There is no legal requirement for the president to release his tax returns to the public, and just because â€˜all other presidents have done itâ€™ makes no difference whatsoever;
â€” The IRS is also an enforcement agency; ifÂ billionaireÂ Donald Trump had run afoul of the nationâ€™s tax agency in the past, it would have caught up with him already â€” long before he got two years into his first term.
But wait, you say. There is an IRS statute that says Congress can request the tax returns fromÂ any American citizen it chooses, and for whatever purpose, so long as those returns are viewed and discussed in closed session.
One, does anyone believe Democrats — and especially that little weasel Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) — wouldn’tÂ leak the president’s returns? And two, what constitutional basis is there for such a regulation in the first place?
This is as blatant a Fourth Amendment privacy violation as there is; as such, there has to be a legal challenge to that at some point, and POTUSâ€™ case is perfect for that. In fact, in our earlier piece we recommended:
He should instruct Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to ignore [Congress’] demand [for Trump’s returns] and let the lawyers fight it out in federal court.Â
Mnuchin did that, and now Team Trump is suing the House to keep the president’s records private.
PresidentÂ Donald TrumpÂ and his business filed suit against Democratic House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings on Monday to block a subpoena sent last week seeking information about the presidentâ€™s finances.
In the complaint filed in Washington, D.C., federal court Monday morning, Trumpâ€™s lawyers said that Democrats have â€œdeclared all-out political warâ€ against him.
Last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed Mazars, an accounting firm that Trump had used to prepare several years of financial statements, according to the lawmakersâ€™ document.
The subpoena requested a slew of financial documents and related materials from Trump, his trust, the Trump Organization, the Trump Corporation, Trumpâ€™s holdings company, the Trump Foundation and the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Mazars told the committee that it would not be able to comply with demands for those documents without a subpoena, according to Cummings.
Trumpâ€™s lawyer in the lawsuit, William Consovoy, said in a statement that the attempt by Cummingsâ€™ committee to â€œobtain yearsâ€™ worth of confidential information from their accountants lacks any legitimate legislative purpose, is an abuse of power, and is just another example of overreach by the presidentâ€™s political opponents.â€
The presidentâ€™s counsel, Jay Sekulow, told NBC News: â€œWe will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered.â€
This is good not just for the president but for every American who is fed up with politically motivated government overreach. The IRS had every opportunity for years to penalize Donald Trump the businessman for any wrongdoing but didn’t (which means, if they’ve been auditing the president for years,Â they haven’t found anything wrong). There is no legitimate reason, then, for Congress to see the president’s returns now — let alone those ofÂ any American.
If Democrats put as much effort into working with the president on border security as they have trying to pry into his personal finances, the humanitarian crisis would be over and illegal immigration would cease to be the problem that it is.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10