House Democrats are trying to use their subpoena powers to get their hands on President Donald Trump‘s tax returns. Trump bucked tradition by refusing to release them when he was running for office in 2016, but the excuse he gave was thrown out the window by his own attorney Wednesday morning.
Rudy Giuliani was discussing his client’s tax returns on Fox & Friends, explaining why the House Ways and Means Committee should not be able to get them. Trump’s critics are concerned that by refusing to release his tax returns, Trump is hiding something, but Giuliani claimed that if this was the case, the IRS would have caught this during an audit.
“The IRS has investigated his taxes,” Guiliani said. “They exist to come after us if we don’t pay our taxes. We know they’re damn good and they’re confidential and they don’t leak. If they haven’t gone after him on taxes, for that six-year period, then there is nothing wrong with his taxes.”
That in itself might sound good when it comes to a congressional investigation, but recall what Trump himself said in the past about why he wouldn’t release his tax returns. He explained that the reason why he would not make the documents public was because he was in the middle of being audited. The way Giuliani phrased it, that audit appears to be complete. If not, then there would be no reason to believe that the IRS has already investigated everything that the House Ways and Means Committee would want to examine.
As far as the House’s investigation, it doesn’t matter that Giuliani may have scrapped Trump’s original reason for hiding his tax returns. Indeed, committees need to have a legitimate legislative purpose for requesting someone’s tax returns, and any argument claiming that they don’t have one could be helpful in this context.
“They want his taxes to embarrass him,” Giuliani claimed.
Trump may have some egg on his face next year, however, as he runs for a second term. If his opponent voluntarily releases their tax returns, the public will want Trump to do the same. Thanks to Giuliani, however, it looks like he’ll no longer have the excuse of an audit to hide behind.
[Image via Fox News screengrab]